Holy Week

Holy Week
9 – 16 April 2017
St. Paul’s Church, Hal­i­fax
An Invi­ta­tion to join in the Music & Dra­ma of
Palm Sun­day to East­er 2017

The Invi­ta­tion
‘Holy Week’ is described in both the Book of Com­mon Prayer and the Book of Alter­na­tive Ser­vices, though the roots of this week are much deep­er and its prac­tice more con­tem­po­rary. It has been the most impor­tant week in our Chris­t­ian Cal­en­dar for most of the his­to­ry of the Chris­t­ian Church. It was also called the ‘Great Week’, the ‘Week of the Holy Pas­sion’ and the ‘Week of For­give­ness’ in ear­ly years. In the ear­li­est years the church kept every Sun­day as a day of the Res­ur­rec­tion with wor­ship cen­tred round the ‘Lord’s Table’ (see Mark 16.1–8, I Corinthi­ans 11.17–26; 14.26; 16.2). Lat­er, the church added a spe­cial cel­e­bra­tion of the day of the Res­ur­rec­tion (‘East­er’) annu­al­ly around the time of the Jew­ish Passover, when Christ arose from the dead. Then a whole pre­ced­ing week, with a spe­cial spir­i­tu­al focus, was devel­oped. It began with Christ’s entry into Jerusalem (‘Palm Sun­day’) and includ­ed spe­cial wor­ship on ‘Maun­dy Thurs­day’, ‘Good Fri­day’, and ‘Holy Sat­ur­day,’ to help Chris­tians walk with Jesus Christ. The fur­ther we have trav­elled from the his­tor­i­cal days of Jesus, the more nec­es­sary this week has become to refresh our faith.
The spir­i­tu­al focus of our pil­grim­age through this week is best summed up in a few of St. Paul’s many words on the con­nec­tion between Christ’s life and our own: ‘If we have been unit­ed with Christ in a death like his, we will cer­tain­ly be unit­ed with him in a res­ur­rec­tion like his’ (I Corinthi­ans 6.5). Many parish­ioners will assist us with their won­der­ful gifts in our pil­grim­age through Holy Week. We hope as many parish­ioners as pos­si­ble will join us, with guests, for each of these ‘com­bined ser­vices’ of wor­ship!

Palm & Pas­sion Sun­day
9 April 2017, 10:00 a.m. Eucharist & Palm Pro­ces­sion with Children’s Art Activ­i­ties dur­ing the homi­ly; 11:30 a.m. Parish Lunch. We will cel­e­brate Christ’s tri­umphal entry into Jerusalem and remem­ber his com­ing pas­sion. Weath­er per­mit­ting, we will take our Hosan­na! prais­es into the Grand Parade. A parish lunch will fol­low.

Holy Mon­day
10 April 2017, 7:30 p.m. Lenten Car­ols. This is a free con­cert of con­tem­po­rary music cre­at­ed and per­formed by the 2016 St. Paul’s Schol­ar, Mark Flow­erdew.

Holy Wednes­day
12 April 2017, 11:00–11:30 a.m. Eucharist. All invit­ed.

Maun­dy Thurs­day
13 April 2017, 6:00 p.m. Eucharist & Foot Wash­ing with a 7:15 shared sup­per to fol­low (it will be pro­vid­ed, though con­tri­bu­tions can be giv­en to help cov­er its cost). We will cel­e­brate Christ’s great act of ‘ser­vant­hood’ and remem­ber the ‘first Chris­t­ian Passover’ (Holy Com­mu­nion or Eucharist). This whole-fam­i­ly cel­e­bra­tion will have two spe­cial fea­tures. The first is a sim­ple foot-wash­ing in which all present will be invit­ed to par­tic­i­pate. And the litur­gy will end in a brief silence, while the table is ‘stripped’ so we can under­stand the depar­ture of joy at Christ’s betrayal—but not the dis­ap­pear­ance of divine love. We will enjoy fel­low­ship at the infor­mal din­ner imme­di­ate­ly after.

Good Fri­day
14 April 2017, 12:00–2:00 p.m. Litur­gy of the Cross. We will com­mem­o­rate Christ’s death for us on the cross. This is a ‘Ser­vice of the Word’ based on hear­ing the Scrip­tures. We will pray and sing as we mourn our Sav­iour, and begin to hope for the res­ur­rec­tion with­in the endur­ing love of God. Var­i­ous mem­bers of the con­gre­ga­tion will offer med­i­ta­tions on the Scrip­tures that they have pre­pared. We shall begin our ser­vice at noon, the hour of the cru­ci­fix­ion. It will end by about 2.00 p.m. or a lit­tle lat­er. There will be no children’s pro­gramme.

Holy Sat­ur­day ~ East­er Sun­day
15 April 2017, 7:00–8:30 p.m. Scrip­ture, Prayer, Song, Poet­ry and Light. We will ‘keep watch’ in the ‘sure and cer­tain hope’ of Christ’s res­ur­rec­tion. Long ago, the Vig­il began late Sat­ur­day and then very ear­ly on Sun­day moved into the first East­er Eucharist. But many parish­es, like ours, sep­a­rate these two. An East­er Can­dle will be lit in the dark­ness of the Vig­il, and then the wor­ship­pers’ can­dles will be lit to mark our prayers. The ancient Chris­t­ian song of sal­va­tion, the com­plete Exul­tet and oth­er songs, will be sung. Scrip­tures and poems describ­ing God’s love through­out his­to­ry will be shared.
16 April 2017, 10:00–11:30 a.m. Eucharist with Bap­tism and a Children’s Pro­gramme in Parish House. Hav­ing walked with Christ in his tri­als, suf­fer­ing and death we will now cel­e­brate his glo­ri­ous res­ur­rec­tion with all the arts of our hands and voic­es and instru­ments! It is the most joy­ful day of the Chris­t­ian year, and a day when the parish draws togeth­er to sing its prais­es to our Sav­iour. In the midst of the Eucharist we will renew our bap­tismal vows. And we will sing and say many times: ‘Alleluia! The Lord is risen … He is risen indeed! Alleluia.’ This will be an all-ages cel­e­bra­tion.