On the Thursday before Easter, we have serve a dinner of lamb stew, using herbs and ingredients reminiscent of the Passover meal. (A vegetarian option is also provided.) Then the vicar washes the feet of the worshippers in imitation of Jesus, from the account in John's gospel. This is followed by a communion service, remembering the Last Supper which Jesus shared with his disciples. The evening concludes with the stripping of the altar and the gradual shuffing out of the candles which light the church, recalling how Jesus was arrested by the authorities, and deserted by his followers. The service begins in light and ends in darkness and silence.
On Palm Sunday at St George's we march round the neighbourhood, behind Revd Tim playing the bagpipes, singing and waving palm crosses and fronds in imitation of the story of Jesus' entry in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago.
Serving Westcombe Park in East Greenwich, SE3 7SD
The service begins outside the church around a fire, from which the Easter candle is lit. Then the candle is processed into the dark church, with the proclamation “the light of Christ”, and worshippers light their own candles from it. An ancient song, the Exsultet, is sung, and Old Testament scripture is read, linking this night of our Christian redemption to the Passover night of Israel’s redemption out of Egypt.
Then the resurrection is proclaimed, all the lights come on and the people sing as the organ plays a triumphant hymn, bells ring and noisemakers raise a din. The Easter Gospel is proclaimed with all the joy and splendour that the church can find. We renew our baptismal vows together. The candles and altar cloths are returned to the altar, and there is a Eucharist. The Alleluia and Gloria, which have been silent through Lent, return. This is the mirror image of the Maundy Thursday service - it begins in darkness and ends in light.
12:00 noon - Quiet Time and Prayer
The church is quiet and unlit. All are welcome to enter and
spend time in the church for prayer and reflection.
2:00 pm – Good Friday service & Easter Garden
We gather for a worship service of reading, prayer and
music, remembering the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. At
the end of the service children and adults are invited to join
in building an Easter Garden near the altar.
3:00 pm – Hot Cross Buns are distributed, remembering how
Jesus gave his life for us.
This is an All-Age Holy Communion service celebrated with up-beat hymns and songs, a proliferation of flowers, texts telling the story of the Resurrection, and sermon opening up the meaning of this special day in the life of the church.