Image: Colin McCahon, ‘A grain of wheat’, 1970.

Worship services in Holy Week

Our services in Holy Week commemorate Jesus’ last days in Jerusalem – from Palm Sunday to Holy Thursday, the crucifixion on Good Friday, the silence of Holy Saturday.

On Easter Day, and in the season that follows, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus – appearances of the risen Christ among disciples and friends.

We look forward to sharing these holy days with you.

All our services are held in the church and also via Zoom. You can join here.

Palm Sunday – April 10, 10am
A Service of the Word with Tongan songs of praise … Following the service we will hold a special Meditation at 12pm – Andy will lead a Visio Divina (Divine Seeing) meditation based on a painting from the Refugee Art Project … In the church and via Zoom.

Holy Thursday – April 14, 6pm
A Service of Word and Sacrament. Eucharist and foot (or hand) washing. We welcome friends from Paddington Uniting Church. Our special guest will be a young person preparing to spend three months in Palestine and Israel as a volunteer peace-maker …

Good Friday – April 15, 9am for 9.30am
A Service of Readings and Prayers. We welcome friends from Cana Communities. Refreshments at 9am (tea, coffee, hot-cross buns) followed by service at 9.30am …

Holy Saturday – April 16, 6pm
A Prayer Vigil. Remembering, waiting, keeping watch, lighting the Easter candle …

(Our Pastoral Care group will meet at 10am on Holy Saturday. Pamela will lead prayers for the parish. Please let Pamela know of prayer concerns:

Easter Day – April 17, 10am
A Service of Word and Sacrament. We will celebrate a Eucharist with flowers, friends, music and more …

Short reflections

“In the culture of the church, a great deal is made of the nuclear family and yet Jesus’ radical vision for humanity living in right relation with self, with others, with creation and with the Sacred, is grounded in neither biology nor marriage but in friendship, in loving as friends love.

“Friendship is the only human relationship that is based on equality and mutuality. It calls us beyond love for one another into the world, to making friends with those whom society deems to be outside our realm of care” (Margaret Mayman, after Sandra Schneiders).

“In the theology of the hour that Jesus realised had come, the cross is not a symbol of sacrifice to satisfy an angry God, but a symbol of the gift of Jesus’ life for those he knew and loved as friends.

“Foot-washing and the giving of a new commandment are not tangential happenings on the way to the cross. They provide an interpretive key to understanding the relationship of the cross to the beloved community” (Margaret Mayman).

“Now Jesus teaches his disciples what he had learned from the woman who washed his feet” (Margaret Mayman).

“A community formed and sustained by mutual and equal friendship is ultimately about ‘being Jesus’, ‘feeding, healing, and raising the dead’; in being, in the words of the book of Wisdom, friends of God, and prophets” (Margaret Mayman).

you save the lowly and bring goodness to all.
Help us to love one another,
even when it is costly,
that we might be a community of compassion.
In the name of Jesus,
who shows us how to serve
with dignity and courage.

(Collect for Holy Thursday by Miriam Pepper, 2021)

“Love is hard. Peter didn’t know that love leads you to give yourself over. He found out later that love leads you to die and that, after all, dying is living more” (Ernesto Cardenal, The Gospel in Solentiname).

“Christ himself is the commandment of love. And he doesn’t say that those who listen to him, the Christians, live in accordance with love; he says the opposite, that those who live in accordance with love, those are his followers” (Ernesto Cardenal, The Gospel in Solentiname).

“… a true Holy Week is one in which we can see the fruits of Christ’s liberation … He has come to free us … from selfishness, even before we free ourselves from all injustice and also from fear, also from death” (Ernesto Cardenal, The Gospel in Solentiname).

“Christ says that when they hear his voice the dead will rise. He means that when his message of love and revolution is heard by all humanity, and the new society is created, all those who formerly lived that message are going to rise again in that society, like those old songs …” (Ernesto Cardenal, The Gospel in Solentiname).

“Unlike their treatment of the Raising of Lazarus, both the Gospels and the Church Tradition are silent about that moment and do not say how Christ arose. Neither does the icon show it” (L. Ouspensky and V. Lossky, The Meaning of Icons).

God who sees all there is,
you understand us most deeply.
We cherish, then, at a deep level
what our baptism means.
Keep us close to Christ
who bears good news
amid desolation.

(Collect for Holy Saturday by Abner Cox, 2021)

“The risen Christ, in the flesh, remains the definitive Symbol of God, the true Icon sustaining all life, mortal and eternal” (Dorothy Lee, Flesh and Glory).

“Mary’s intense grief and her desperate search for [Jesus’] body have shown the depth of her love for him in the old way. All this serves as a foil … against which to measure the new mode in which love and discipleship are to continue, and indeed find ‘greater’ possibilities through the gift of the Spirit” (Brendan Byrne SJ, Life Abounding).

“As marked … on the Easter candle, the wounds [of Christ] will display forever that the victorious divine love is a vulnerable love, imparting a peace and joy that the world cannot give” (Brendan Byrne SJ, Life Abounding).

“… our lives are included in what Jesus did and goes on doing, together with the lives of many, many others throughout the world, and all that would never manage to get written and if it did get written it would fill the entire world with books …” (Ernesto Cardenal, The Gospel in Solentiname).

God is love.
There is love to share
and there is more to love.
Go in peace. Amen.

(Holy Week affirmation by Andrew Collis, 2022)

We believe in God,
who created the world in love,
who led the First Peoples to this land,
who rescued Israel from slavery in Egypt,
who sent the ancestors and the prophets
to judge and to bless,
who returns the exiles to their home,
whom Jesus called Abba.

We believe in Jesus Christ,
born of Mary, born under law,
Heir of David and God’s Own Child,
proclaimer of God’s peace with justice,
healer and exorcist,
tortured and crucified by evil doers,
sacrament of God’s love,
risen to reconcile all the world,
coming again to make the world new.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
whose breath gave life to creation,
who speaks through ancestors and prophets,
who is the love between the Parent and the Child,
who came upon Jesus at his baptism,
who gives birth to the church,
Christ’s body,
who pours out gifts for the ministry of love,
who works night and day to renew
all that is alive.

We believe in God,
Lover, Beloved and Spirit of Love.

(Based on affirmation by Garry Worete Deverell, Gondwana Theology, 2018)