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Holy Week and Easter 2020

Please Note: The church building is CLOSED. Services will be live streamed on this website. Please check the Home page for upcoming live streams.


Palm Sunday-  5 April

Palm Sunday has a double focus – the Triumphal Entry of Christ into Jerusalem, and the celebration of his passion and death. The Liturgy of the Palms and procession contains the first commemorative actions of Holy Week which remind us of the main events in the last week of Jesus' ministry. Palm branches are carried, although they are secondary to the procession itself. The procession is also an act of praise to Christ the King who reigns and triumphs on the cross, and it expresses our own readiness to take up our cross and follow our crucified and risen Lord, as we go with him to the place of suffering and death.

The practice of blessing and giving palm crosses is a well established one with devotional value. However in the procession it is not as telling a symbol as the carrying of branches whether of palm or of other trees, perhaps brought by members of the congregation.

Central to the Liturgy of the Passion is the reading of the Passion Gospel. On this day, the narrative comes from either Matthew, Mark or Luke, and takes us into the heart of Holy Week. Although the services of this week are shaped by the historical commemoration of the events of the last week in Jesus’ earthly life, taken together they form an extended celebration of the victory he won over death.

The solemn reading of the narrative of the passion and death of Jesus Christ is an essential part of the liturgy of Palm Sunday. For this reason the full form of the Passion is used. Coming after the procession, it reminds us that the kingly power of Christ is the power of self-giving love alone.

Maundy Thursday - 9 April

Foot Washing

The Liturgy of the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday evening is a rollercoaster of emotions and intentions. One of the key elements is the re-enactment of Christ’s example of humble service, in washing his disciples’ feet.

All-night Watch at the Garden of Gethsemane

We keep watch with Our Lord in his sacramental presence on Maundy Thursday night and Good Friday morning. The Watch takes place in the Lady Chapel and begins directly after the evening liturgy and continues till Morning Prayer on Good Friday.


Good Friday - 10 April

The Solemn Liturgy Christ became obedient for us even to death
The celebration of Christ’s Passion consists of three distinct sections. In the first part, we listen to the words of scripture and strive to understand the true meaning of Christ’s sufferings and the mind that was in him. In the second part, the focus of our worship is the Cross, the symbol of his triumph, and we pray with him for the needs of the whole world. And in the third part, we enter into sacramental communion with him who is our Life.

Silence is a significant and integral part of the Solemn Liturgy as, ultimately, there can be no adequate way of recalling the suffering and death of the Son of God, other than silence and desolation. It is appropriate, therefore, for the organ to be used only to accompany hymn singing.

This solemn season preserves some of the oldest texts still in current use, and rehearses the deepest and most fundamental Christian memories. However, the ceremonies of Holy Week have in the course of Christian history been the occasion of, or have actively encouraged, hostility towards the Jews. The ‘loudaioi’ of St John’s Gospel have all too easily been identified with ‘the Jews’ as a whole, or more specifically those Jews who were neighbours of a Christian church.

This places a double responsibility on us to be faithful to the act of collective memory, but also to be sensitive to the ways in which an unreflecting use of traditional texts can perpetuate a strain of Christian anti-Semitism. In the Reproaches, for example, it is important to remember that Jesus’ words are to be understood as applying to the present Church, rather than to his own contemporaries. Here, ‘Israel’ and ‘my people’ stand for the Church, and we are to hear the Reproaches as directed to our own hardness of heart and failure of discipleship.



"It is only because I can see God entering the darkness of human suffering and evil in creation, recognizing it for what it really is, meeting it and conquering it, that I can accept a religious view of the world. Without the religious dimension, life would be senseless, and endurance of its cruelty pointless; yet without the cross it would be impos¬sible to believe in God."

(Frances Young, The Myth of God Incarnate)

The Easter Vigil and First Mass - 11 April

Please Note: The Easter Vigil will not be taking place as a service. Additionally, the lighting of the Pascal Candle will take place at the Easter Day service.


The Easter (or Paschal) Vigil heralds the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and the celebration of Easter, the so-called feast of feasts. Through readings and psalms it retraces the story of salvation, beginning with Creation, God’s covenant with Abraham, the escape of the Israelites through the Red Sea, the centuries of longing for the promised Messiah foretold by the prophets, and the Easter Gospel itself. The Easter Vigil is the greatest act of Christian worship, it tells the story of the greatest event of the world has ever known.

A vigil is about keeping watch, about expectant waiting and anticipation. A vigil is supposed to take time. The first disciples were bleary-eyed on the Resurrection Morning! The classical Vigil has seven readings, and Common Worship has provided a sequence of readings and psalms to last until dawn.

Easter Day

On Sunday 12 April we celebrate with all the joy we can muster the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, his once and for all victory of death, and the promise that we also may share his risen life.



Spiritual Communion



Find out about Spiritual Communion - how to make it.


Church Without



Read how to establish your home as places of worship.



Recorded Services



Watch Sunday service recordings via our website.



Times of Services


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Worship Calendar


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Special Services


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Music Lists



Discover what music has been planned for the current month. You can also view music for previous months.



Weekday Scripture Readings



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Healing Ministry


Learn about the theological background to the Ministry of Healing and Wholeness.


Walsingham Cell


Learn about the Parish Cell of the Society of the Holy House of Our Lady of Walsingham

    Walsingham Cell Gallery

View photos relating to the Walsingham Cell.

  Baptisms & Weddings  

Learn about Baptisms & Weddings at St Matthew's church and the Initial Enquiries Evenings that take place.



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