Holy Week and Easter
As you are planning your own keeping of Holy Week and Easter we hope the following will be a resource for you and to your community.
Bishop Christopher will be celebrating services from the Chapel at Bishop’s House for the Diocese, coordinating with the Cathedral for the Great Three Days of the Triduum.
The Chrism Eucharist at which the Bishop leads the clergy in the renewal of their ordination vows and blesses the oils for ministry will take place on Maundy Thursday 9 April at 11am. It will be broadcast on a number of platforms and links will be sent out in advance of the service. There will also be a downloadable PDF of the order of service for people to follow and for clergy to use for the renewal of their vows. Should, however, clergy prefer to sit quietly at that time and renew their vows through their own prayers Bishop Christopher is very happy that this is done.
As soon as restrictions are lifted there will be a service for the Renewal of Ministry and Blessing of the Oils in the Cathedral. The bishops hope that all clergy and others in ministry will gather on this occasion when we can affirm one another in our callings and give thanks for our life together in the Diocese. (At the service from his Chapel on Maundy Thursday the Bishop will bless a limited quantity of oils and then bless the oils for collection by you all at the service in the Cathedral later in the year.)
On Good Friday there will be the regular Morning Prayer at 9am and Night Prayer at 8pm from the Deanery, which will be streamed on the Cathedral’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/southwarkcathedral along with prayers from the Community of St Francis, Southwark. At noon, the Dean will lead the Stations of the Cross, which will be broadcast across a number of platforms. At 3pm, Bishop Christopher will read the Passion from the chapel in Bishop’s House for the Diocese and then say Prayers before the Cross.
The Easter Liturgy which will be broadcast from the Chapel at Bishop’s House on Easter Day, Sunday 12 April, at 11.00am. Once again, this will be on a number of platforms and parishes are encouraged to join with the Bishop on this occasion. In that service he will be blessing the Paschal Candle for use in the Cathedral.
Holy Week is an important time of journeying for all Christians and this year we shall be making the journey spiritually in our homes: so it will be taking a different form for all of us. But the path from Palm Sunday to Easter Day remains as important to travel as ever. We are all encouraged to engage with it in whatever ways we can. Online resources are already available on the Diocesan website by clicking here: https://southwark.anglican.org/downloads/holy_week_at_home_ely.pdf.
There are services every day from the Deanery at the Cathedral and a full programme can be found here: https://cathedral.southwark.anglican.org/visiting/holy-week-and-easter-from-southwark-cathedral. The Bishop hopes that the focus of all ministers, lay and ordained, can be on pastoral care and spiritual support as we journey through Holy Week and that meetings are kept to a minimum, avoiding the Triduum if at all possible. Bishop Christopher will be modelling this himself and will be holding us all in prayer as we make the Holy Week journey through death to resurrection. He asks that you hold in prayer all those affected by the Coronavirus and especially our chaplains, volunteers and NHS health workers, nursing and medical staff caring for increasing numbers.
There is some liturgical material for Holy Week and Easter on the Church of England website which can be found at
On Palm Sunday, 5 April, Bishop Christopher will be livestreaming a simple Eucharist for the Diocese at 9.30am from the chapel at Bishop’s House and this will be followed at 11am by a Eucharist, with the Reading of the Passion, broadcast from the Cathedral Deanery.
It has also been announced that the Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Revd David Walker, will lead a national 'virtual service of Holy Communion for Palm Sunday. This will be broadcast at 9am on the Church of England’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland.