OUR EASTER CELEBRATIONS
Palm Sunday – 14 April; Masses 08:00; 10:30; 18:00.
As Jesus enters the Holy City with his disciples, the crowds acclaim him as the Messiah who comes to set his people free. Their faith in Jesus, together with their hope in the salvation he brings, echoes with the aspirations of those who built the city and the Temple, its crowning glory.
Uglier aspects of human nature are seen in the Passion narrative which relates all that followed, and in the terrible irony of the Roman inscription at the head of the Cross: ‘Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews’.
The liturgy of Palm Sunday tries to comprehend what was happening during the last days of Jesus’s life on earth, with the suggestion that what he experienced is central to all our lives.
Maundy Thursday – 18 April; 19:00.
During the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:00 p.m. we commemorate the washing of the feet of those who followed Jesus to Jerusalem.
Mass is followed by the annual procession with the Blessed Sacrament for adoration at the altar of repose, in the Lady Chapel until midnight.
Good Friday – 19 April; 10:00; 11:30; 15:00.
Here in Beccles, after the Stations of the Cross in St Benet’s (10.00), the Walk of Witness follows the Cross from Kilbrack, up Blyburgate to the centre of town (11.30 – 12.00).
The Liturgy of the Passion, in St Benet’s at 3.00 pm commemorates the death of Jesus: we listen to St John’s account of the arrest, trial and Passion of our Lord and his Life given for us is received in the Bread consecrated the previous evening.
Holy Saturday and The Easter Vigil – 20 April; 10:00; 20:00.
At Morning Prayer (10:00 am) we remember the great Passover of Jesus from death to Life.
The Vigil – on Saturday evening at 8:00 pm in St Benet’s – presents the emblems of our Life in Christ, beginning with the Easter Candle representing the illumination given in Baptism. During the baptismal liturgy, at the heart of the service, we renew our Baptismal Promises.
The readings recount the highlights of salvation history, and the Easter Eucharist reminds us that the Life of Jesus renews the lives of those who receive Him.
Easter Sunday – 21 April; Masses 8:00 and 10:30 (No evening Mass)
The Life of the Resurrection, dramatically revealed by angels in the Gospel of Easter night, dawns gradually upon the witnesses who approach the empty tomb in the first light of Easter morning.
Matthew, Mark and Luke, whose Gospel accounts we hear at the Easter Vigil in alternate years, contrast with St John’s version, which we always listen to on Easter Day.
The three witnesses, Mary Magdalene, Peter and John the Evangelist, discover the truth of the Resurrection on a profoundly personal level. The faith of each is tested – then finally enhanced through the physical absence of the Lord’s body.