Holy Week 2020
Over the years I have I have taken part in the ceremonies of Holy Week in different settings: in the Liverpool parish where I grew up, in the Benedictine abbey where I spent 20 years, in parishes in East Anglia including the Cathedral in Norwich. Each year, whether the liturgy was solemn and grand or simple and homely, brought new insights into the central mystery that was celebrated by the Church – the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ which we also call the Paschal Mystery. Holy Week is the high point of the Church’s year. The Liturgy has a unique way of inserting us into the redemptive work of Christ: we not only tell the story, we are part of that story.
This year is different. There will be no blessing of Palms, no Chrism Mass, no Washing of the Feet on Maundy Thursday, no Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday, no gathering of the whole parish on Easter Saturday’s Vigil. It will be for each of us to celebrate Holy Week as best we can. We can follow Mass streamed from some of the churches in our diocese – Walsingham, for instance. We can follow the Stations of the Cross at Bishop Barron’s website: https://stations.wordonfire.org The ceremonies of Holy Week will still be carried out, albeit in a simpler form and without a congregation, in the Sacred Heart church.
Maundy Thursday: 7.00 pm
Good Friday: 3.00 pm
Easter Vigil: 8.00 pm
Easter Sunday: 10.00 am
Pray for the repose of the soul of Joe Seely, who died this week.
Remember to pray for our sick parishioners: Maria Wilby, Matt Butler, John Gowing, Tom Ender, Derek and Frances Palman, Kevin Fitzmaurice, David Battigan and Mary Carr.
We also remember the anniversaries of Paul Humphrys, Maurice Allain, Brigid McInerny, Beatrice Wiggins, Patricia Woodcock, Frank Dominikowski and Monica Furlong.
Finally, this is the bidding prayer that will be said this year in the Good Friday liturgy:
Almighty ever-living God, only support of our human weakness look with compassion upon the sorrowful condition of your children who suffer because of this pandemic; relieve the pain of the sick, give strength to those who care for them, welcome into your peace those who have died and, throughout this time of tribulation, grant that we may all find comfort in your merciful love. Through Christ our Lord. Amen