Resources for each day:
Introduction by Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford
Living through a prolonged ‘Holy Saturday’
We have already become ‘a different sort of church’ in unprecedented ways. The very place in which the body of Christ finds its identity, offers prayer, and receives solace in time of crisis—that is, the church building—is not available to us, and, as in the early days of our faith, public gatherings of Christians outside the home are forbidden. Nevertheless, we are finding ways to join in prayer and intention; to cry ‘Abba, Father’; and to recognise we are all buried with Christ by baptism into his death, that we might walk in newness of life. The present situation does not nullify the joy we have been granted in the resurrection, but it will be lived out this year in different ways.
Holy Week and Easter, in particular, will give us opportunities to reflect on all of these matters. In the annual commemoration of the passion, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, we explore who we are and our relationship to the God who loves us. We are enabled to realise, quite counter-culturally, that everything that we have that is good is a gift, and not a right. We, as humans, do not always have the answers.
We can reflect that, even in the hardest of times, even in the prolonged ‘Holy Saturday’ of emptiness in which we find ourselves, there is always hope. God, whose nature is mercy, sent his Son, who experienced the fullness of our own human suffering and makes all things new.
We are still called to serve those inside and outside the church, and to have care for the most vulnerable.
Our historic structures still place us at the heart of the community and of public life, and as spokespeople for our ecumenical partners and for those of other faiths who are experiencing similar difficulties to our own.
In these dark times, when it is not possible to recall the death and resurrection of Christ in our church buildings, we have the opportunity, through marking Holy Week at Home, of discovering how what we are now experiencing may contribute to our own ongoing journey as God’s people. The homes to which we are primarily confined offer us a place in which our faith can be discovered afresh, where we can find ‘the Church within’. Some of the suggested activities gesture in that direction. In the renewed hope that will come from remembering the story of our salvation, we hope that all the faithful will experience the genuine, unreserved joy of Easter.
Using the Holy Week at Home Resources
This web page hosts resources to help you worship at home during Holy Week. The resources are organised into daily sections but many could be used on any day during Holy Week.
There is a wide array of material and we hope there is something for everyone. The web pages will also continue to develop over the coming days and new resources will be added.
Resources for each day
The links below take you to the resources for the relevant day. Easter Sunday resources will be available soon.
Stations of the Cross
The Church of England have published a series of five podcasts to take people on the Holy Week journey, exploring and reflecting on the five biblical stations of the cross.
Other Chelmsford Diocese resources to support worship and ministry during the coronavirus pandemic
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