Holy Week and Easter at Home
Palm Sunday and the days of Holy Week and Easter bring us into some of the most poignant and profound moments of the Church’s year. And yet we find ourselves, in this season, away from our buildings and apart from our people. So how might we find new ways engage with these days?
Although our Church buildings provide the setting and focus for our liturgies, and a forum for the gathering of the people, we can still find ways in which to walk with Christ in these holy days in our own homes and in our own lives, in ways that might help us to find new meaning and new depth in these extraordinary events.
So how might we keep a good Holy Week this year? What is offered here are some alternative ways of engagement; passages of scripture, pieces of art and some music to accompany us on the journey through Holy Week. The practice of Lectio Divina is one that many find to be a useful tool in the reading of scripture, and a guide to this can be found here.
Palm Sunday focuses on the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. This entry wasn’t gentle humility, but deliberately provocative - Jesus making his purposes clear, and the ways of God’s kingdom are not the ways of political and economic power. Read: Matthew 21. 1-11 View: Entry into Jerusalem de Orrente Listen: Hosanna to the Son of David Weekles
The days of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Holy Week are more meditative in character. In these days we hear gospel stories, some of which we
hear again in part later in the week, but also the anointing at Bethany which appears only here in the Holy Week liturgies.
Monday: John 12. 1-11
Tuesday: John 12. 20-36
Wednesday: John 13. 21-32
You may wish to also pray the Stations of the cross during these days which you can do here.
Maundy Thursday brings us to the Last Supper at which Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, an act of humble service which we are called to
imitate, and the institution of the Eucharist. Read: John 13. 1-17, 31-35 View:
Eucharist de Juanes
Listen: Ubi Caritas Duruflé
After this Jesus goes to the garden at Gethsemane, a place of watching and waiting and it is here that Jesus is arrested. Read: Luke 22. 31-62 View: The Taking of Christ Caravaggio
Listen: Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen J.S. Bach
On Good Friday as Jesus dies upon the cross, we can do no more than watch and pray. Read: John 18. 1 – 19. end View: La Crucifixi El Greco Listen: – The Lamentation Bairstow Crucifixus Lotti The Reproaches Sanders
Holy Week is a time to slow down and pay attention, to be open to new interpretations, and not to hurry through to the resolution of Easter Day.
The point of these days, as Bishop Stephen Cottrell says in his talk Passion: A Good Holy Week is that it isn’t meant to feel comfortable, it’s meant to get under our skin. As much as we might long for
resolution and resurrection, we must be patient.
Read: Matthew 27. 57-end View: The Entombment of Christ Caravaggio Listen: Ruht wohl J.S. Bach
This is our Holy Saturday – we are invited simply to grieve.