On March 29th – Palm Sunday – there will be services at Compton, Hermitage and Yattendon at 9.30 and at Cold Ash and Hampstead Norreys at 11.00.
Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, palm crosses are blessed and distributed and we recall Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem greeted by cheering crowds.
On Monday at Yattendon, Tuesday at Hampstead Norreys and Wednesday at Cold Ash we meet at 7.30 in the evening to walk through the events of this special week; each evening will have its own particular emphasis and provide a reflective space at the end of the day.
On Maundy Thursday there will be services at 7.30 in the evening at Compton, Hermitage, Hampstead Norreys and Yattendon as we remember the Last Supper when Jesus took bread and blessed and broke and shared it telling his disciples “do this to remember me”. This day has a solemn ending and you may wish to stay and pray recalling Jesus’ own vigil of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.
On Good Friday there will be a service in Compton church followed by an event in the Village Hall; a simple service at 11.00 at Cold Ash; then at 2.00 at both Frilsham and Hermitage there will be music and words focused on the crucifixion.
Easter Sunday is the great feast of the Christian church – we rejoice in new life, the victory of love over death, of joy after despair. There is an outdoor sunrise service at Compton and then 9.30 in church, services at 8.00 at Cold Ash and Frilsham; at 9.30 at East Ilsley and Hermitage; at 11.00 at Cold Ash, Hampstead Norreys and Yattendon. Our churches are filled with flowers, bells will ring and young and old will gather together to sing and celebrate.
Our Holy Week pattern of services has slightly changed from recent years, providing Maundy Thursday services in four churches, rather than one service for the whole Team. We hope that this will provide more people with an opportunity to worship on that significant day. There will be a Team Eucharist on Sunday 26th April at 11.00 at St Mark’s Cold Ash when Bishop Andrew will celebrate and preach as the climax of the 150th anniversary of the founding of St Mark’s church.
May the joy and peace of Easter fill your hearts and homes and flow out from our churches this year.