Easter is such a significant celebration in the Christian Church. It will soon be upon us and is well worth making a note in your diary.
May I extend an invitation to join with us here at Emmanuel as we journey through Holy Week: from the: Praise of Palm Sunday; Poignancy of Maundy Thursday; Sorrow of Good Friday and the Joy of Celebration on Easter Sunday.
May God’s richest blessing be upon you as you prepare to celebrate all that Easter brings.
HOLY WEEK PRAYERS Sue Oakley and Stephen Dray put together some resources for daily prayer, reading and reflection beginning at Passiontide (beginning the Sunday before Palm Sunday) and during Holy Week. Whilst these were provided for use during lockdown, they are still relevant for use this year. You can download these here Passiontide Daily Prayer
EASTER GARDENS Last year we encouraged people to turn their gardens into an Easter garden, as simple or as complex as you are inspired to do. This proved to be a very popular event with many people posting their gardens on the WhatsApp Group and Social Media. Examples included putting up three bamboo cane crosses in the front garden, adding red ribbons at 3 pm on Good Friday, a lighted candle for the Easter vigil and balloons on Easter morning. This is a great way to spread the Easter message and some cheer for all those out walking over the Easter weekend.
PALM SUNDAY This is an opportunity to remember Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem and his journey towards the cross.
PALM CROSSES Will be distributed on Palm Sunday. Please pick one up for yourselves and/or your family, neighbours and friends. Be sure to pick up a leaflet to pass on to them too.
MAUNDY THURSDAY I’m hoping many of you will continue the tradition of following the Liturgy for the Maundy Thursday Agape Meals, whether on your own, as a Family or as a Home Group. This year the team service of Communion takes place at Christ Church from 8.45 pm for 9.00 pm. You can download the combined service sheet Maundy Thursday 2023
AGAPE MEAL If you are unable to join with us, this is an Agape Meal authorised for use in your homes by the Bishop of Chelmsford. An Agape Meal
GOOD FRIDAY: MEDITATION There will be a service of meditation for personal reflection at Emmanuel at 10.00 am
GOOD FRIDAY: PILGRIMAGE Will take place from 11.30 am starting at Emmanuel taking in the Community Garden and Sun Corner along the way finishing back at Emmanuel where refreshments will be served (Hot Cross Buns!).
GOOD FRIDAY: UNITED IN PRAYER Christians are encouraged to come out of their homes at 3.00 pm on Good Friday as an expression of faith and identification with Christ on the Cross when He cried out “IT IS FINISHED!”. In unity, we will pray the Lord’s prayer and declare “It is Finished”
WINTERSHALL PLAYERS One hundred Wintershall players bring their electric and moving portrayal of the final days of Jesus to Trafalgar Square on Good Friday. The 90-minute production is completely free of charge. There is a performance at 12 noon and 3:15 pm. The production is open air with visibility maximised using large screens. There is a realistic interpretation of the crucifixion so parental guidance is advised. For those of you who cannot make it to see these free performances they will be livestreaming them on Facebook Live as before.
EASTER SUNDAY After the Praise of Palm Sunday; Poignancy of Maundy Thursday; Sorrow of Good Friday; the Fun of Messy Church on Holy Saturday; we have the opportunity to celebrate Jesus’ rising from the dead. Always a Sunday NOT to be missed with a said Communion at 8.30 am and an All Age Worship at 10.30 am.
The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the cornerstone of Christianity. It explains the existence of the church; it establishes why we are here and explains why on Easter Sunday, we will celebrate with 2.2 billion people around the world.
WHOLE CHURCH MESSY EASTER By popular request we will have another Messy Church for the whole Church family at 10.30 am on Sunday 16 April. John Humphreys will be leading/speaking, there will be craft for everyone (see Kathryn Booth if you can help with craft) and breakfast will be served from 10.00 am.