Church of England Diocese of Gloucester Witcombe with Bentham

Additional ideas and services for Holy Week and Easter

On Palm Sunday and the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week Bishop Robert, the Dean and the Archdeacons will be offering a short online reflection.

Maundy Thursday: during the day

On Maundy Thursday at 11.00 am clergy and readers are invited to a live ‘Zoom’ act of worship in which we will reaffirm our ministerial promises and during with Bishop Rachel will give her Charge to the Diocese. The order of service will be published on the Diocesan Website. Bishop Rachel’s Charge will also be available on the Diocesan YouTube channel later that day.

Suggested activities

- The Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda has produced films for each day of the Triduum which can be shared.

Maundy Thursday evening

Suggested activities

- The Walking the Way of the Cross reflections (by Paula Gooder, Stephen Cottrell, and Philip North) may be used, either as a devotion or a start for Bible study.

- Other forms of Bible study (Mark 14.22-26, Luke 22.14-23, 1 Corinthians 11.23-25?).

- Washing each other’s feet in the home, or something in relation to hand-washing.

- Making bread, or dough twisters, with a grace about Jesus being the living bread.

Good Friday

For Good Friday the Bishop’s Staff Team will be offering by YouTube a dramatised telling of St John’s account of the Passion with a short reflection before and after.

Holy Saturday

Suggested activities

- Preparing an Easter garden (whether using plants or as a craft activity); preparing and painting Easter eggs.

- Making a donation to an appropriate charity.

- Observing the Easter Vigil in some form at home (either here or early on Sunday). Some networks are planning recorded or live-streamed vigils with wide participation.

National initiatives

- Archbishop Justin will pray the Exultet, offering some reflections on ‘waiting in hope’:

Easter Day

On Easter Day there will be a livestreamed Eucharist from the chapel in Bishopscourt with Bishop Rachel’s Easter Sermon at 7.00 am beginning with the lighting of the Easter Candle. We invite you to light a candle at the same moment and if you are able to share this on social media (please tag @glosdioc).

Bishop Robert and other members of the Senior Clergy will be releasing short Easter messages and Bishop Rachel’s Easter Sermon will be available to view on the Diocesan Website later for those taking part in other livestreamed worship that morning.

Suggested activities

- Practising spiritual communion as this is a day on which all ought otherwise to receive Holy

Communion in church. (The Spiritual Communion service is available on a separate tab)

- Lighting a candle at dawn using the following prayer:

Christ yesterday and today, the beginning and the end, Alpha and Omega, all time belongs to him, and all ages; to him be glory and power, through every age and for ever. Amen.

- Observing the Easter Vigil in some form at home.

- Joining in with the ‘Sing Resurrection’ initiative from CTBI, which encourages everyone to sing the hymns Jesus Christ is risen today and Thine be the glory outdoors at 10 am.

In addition to this Archbishop Justin will be publishing reflections through the week on Facebook and accessible via the Church of England Website.

Nationally there will be services led by the Bishop of Manchester on Palm Sunday and the Archbishop of Canterbury on Easter Day accessible via the Church of England Website.

For families - you will find further ideas on the Growing Together pages of our Diocesan Website at