Easter and Holy Week

Holy Week

The first Holy Week or Easter Week I remember as actually Holy Week, rather thanI hope I get an Easter Egg at the weekend was in my late 20s. After I had been baptised. I should note here that eggs are part of the celebration, but not the only part.

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What is Holy Week?

Holy week marks the days through Jesus’ journey to His final sacrifice, of giving His life for us in atonement for our sin. Apart from Christmas in celebrating the birth of Christ, Holy Week is probably the most important week in the Christian Calender. Well apart from Pentecost which is also a major headliner so to speak. This is when we have opportunity to celebrate ‘the helper‘ as described by Jesus to His disciples. Meaning the Holy Spirit. But they didn’t know that until they experienced it.

John 14: 16-17a  NIV And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

The named days of Holy Week mark the lead up to the crucifixion of Christ and His ultimate Resurrection from the dead. Which is celebrated on Easter/Holy/Resurrection Sunday. It is often a time in some Christian denominations where we renew our baptismal vows and receive a good splash of Holy Water. Water being a major part of baptism. It’s brilliant.

Holy week comprises of –

  • Palm Sunday – Jesus’ Triumphant entry to Jerusalem
  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Maundy Thursday – the Last Supper, where Jesus washes the feet of his disciples.
  • Good Friday – Jesus is Crucified
  • Saturday – a time of sorrow and waiting
  • Easter/Holy Sunday – the Resurrection of Jesus

I’m familiar with the calender for this special week due to my more formal background when a young Christian. Not all Christian denominations mark all of the days specifically. But many do, and have specific and symbolic traditions associated with each of the days. Neither is superior, it is just a case of ones background, tradition and choice. And so appropriate, as God gives choice and freewill.

And of course, throughout the Old Testament there is prophecy and in the New Testament the detail continues beyond the Gospels. That’s an extremely a condensed description. You noticed!

An open Bible

My First Holy Week.

I was still a commuter to London’s West End. And on my way to work would leave the nearest Central Line Tube stop to Berkley Square and walk. To disembark from the tube (underground) was bliss. It was about a 30 minute walk at reasonable pace.

I worked in PR for a well known Publisher at the time. And had not long before had designed some invitations for my Baptism. My employer had asked me ‘if I was one of those born again Christians‘. Rather taken aback, I answered no as I had never been baptised before.

The Walk

The Spring morning walk used to be lovely, the sun shining. Still fairly quiet, as the West End started later. I would stroll past Georgian buildings with gorgeous stucco and sash windows with abundant window boxes, packed full with spring flowers. And while en route, I would sing. What a stark contrast. Knowing I would get to celebrate, and could already celebrate. The disciples didn’t realise, to them everything was falling apart.

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John 14:1 NIV “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Compline

As I walked, I would sing what I could remember from Compline. Compline is a reflective service for the end of the day with a simple communion. It’s beautiful.

It was such a lovely start to a busy and very long day. The commute took two hours in each direction. So a bit of a lift was welcome.

Here is a link that gives more detail of a Compline Service. I have booklet of the service given to me as a gift from a friend. The booklet is now extremely well thumbed.

The church I attended at that time, met for compline every evening of Holy week. I would rush from the train station near home straight to church. It was brilliant. It was a small gathering, but special. We were all so fortunate to be under the stewardship of such a dedicated Reverend.

Here is part of what I would sing.

Preserve us oh Lord while waking. And guard us while sleeping. That awake we may watch with Christ. And Asleep we may rest in peace

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Did Anyone Hear

I sometimes wondered if anyone heard me singing. There goes that singing commuter again! I actually hoped that they did. I would also sing a hymn if I had time.

Treasured Memories still important today

These lovely memories also remind me of how on fire I felt as a young Christian. I almost felt invincible. I felt so alive. So complete. To experience the wonder of faith in lifes ups and the downs. Those early days of spiritual growth in relationship with God and mentoring help fill your spiritual tank for trying times which will undoubtedly occur.

Saying yes, saying ‘I turn to Christ’ is the easy part. I turn away from my former self, my former life. I am renewed, forgiven, refreshed and loved unconditionally.

We are blessed by the river of living water which never runs dry.

Psalm 1:3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,

    which yields its fruit in season

and whose leaf does not wither…

NIV Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Hope

We may hit problems, curve balls, disappointments in a variety of forms. But we can continue to press in, to draw near to God, to grow in faith, in trust and understanding. To walk in the sunlight.

Hebrews 4:15 NIV15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Procession of Witness

The many procession of witness, walked on Good Friday, will not be able to take place this year I imagine. I haven’t been able to take part for many years now. In our locality it is an ecumenical gathering. Preceeded by a reading of the Passion. The Passion is a reading of Jesus’ arrest, trial and His suffering, and ultimately at the cross. The cross is then carried in silence through the town with short service at its resting place.

A time to reflect on the magnitude of the day.

John 19:28-30 NKJV 28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

This worship song says it all!

Preparation for the time of waiting until Easter Sunday. And knowing it isn’t the end of the story at all.

Resurrection Sunday

John 20: 15-16 15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

And when we can proclaim

Christ is Risen!

He is Risen Indeed! Hallelujah!

I loved, as part of a choir many years ago, we would begin the Easter Day Service, also known as Resurrection Sunday, singing Christ the Lord is Risen Today as we processed in our Choir Robes. Oh my goodness, such special times. I felt incredibly honoured.

So some thoughts and a little detail about Easter and Holy Week. I had considered writing more, but where would I stop?


This period in Jesus’ life which we mark during Holy Week can be read in detail in the Bible in:

  • Matthew 21-28
  • Mark 11-16
  • Luke 19-24
  • John 12-20
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Have a blessed Holy Week and Easter

May you know His Peace

Penny @hopefoundinme

I first heard this worship song sung at the funeral of a very young man over 30 years ago. Hearing it sung with such passion, by his sister, was a turning point in my life.

4 thoughts on “Easter and Holy Week

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