HOLY WEEK @ CHRIST CHURCH
Monday – Wednesday:
7 a.m. Low Mass (additional Low Mass on Wednesday at 10 a.m.)
Maundy Thursday (April 18th):
9 a.m. Morning Prayer
Evening Prayer is replaced by the Evening Liturgy
8 p.m. MASS OF THE LAST SUPPER – Preacher: Bishop Paul White
followed by a vigil of prayer until midnight.
The night office of Compline will be sung at 11:40 p.m.
This is a service full of action and meaning as we seek to be with Jesus and his disciples in the Upper Room when the abiding gift of the Eucharist was given. We re-enact the foot washing, and have a ‘garden’ for the vigil time when we are invited to accept Jesus’ invitation to stay with him and “watch and pray” as he sweated in the Garden of Gethsemane. You are invited to stay for as little or as long as you are able. If you are able to commit to a specific period of time, sign up on the sheet at the back of church.
Good Friday (April 19th)
10 a.m. THE LITURGY OF THE PASSION – Preacher: Bishop Paul White
This is perhaps the most stark and demanding service of the year. We are invited to watch and pray as Jesus gives his life on the Cross, to listen to the Crucifixion Gospel, and to venerate the symbol of both torture and salvation. It’s a time to ponder how this might be an expression of God’s love, and what it might mean for our own lives and the life of the world.
After this: a gentle witness on our land at 260 Sydney Road.
For those who can stay on, there will be hot cross buns on our land around the corner from the church, and we shall be giving away hot cross buns to passers-by with a brief leaflet about their meaning, and an invitation to join in our Easter Service.
There are no other services on Good Friday, but the church will remain open for prayer until 8 p.m.
At 6 p.m., the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary will be recited in the Chancel of the church.
Holy Saturday (April 20th)
9 a.m. Morning Prayer
9:30 a.m. Morning working bee cleaning the church. All are welcome.
8:30 p.m. THE LIGHTING OF THE NEW FIRE, VIGIL AND FIRST MASS OF EASTER
– Preacher: Bishop Paul White
In the Christian tradition, the following day begins at nightfall. And so we gather in the darkness outside the church for the lighting of the “new fire” which symbolises the new light of the resurrection. The great “Exultet” – the ancient song of thanksgiving – is sung, and we listen to Bible readings from the Old Testament by candlelight – candles lit from the new fire. We read the Old Testament in the light of the New. We then renew our baptismal promises and celebrate the first Holy Communion of Easter.
Celebratory drinks and nibbles at the Vicarage afterwards
Easter Day (April 21st)
8 a.m. Low Mass
10 a.m. EASTER CELEBRATION with Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Communion
– Celebrant and Preacher: Bishop Lindsay Urwin OGS
Easter Day is a great day on which to baptise new Christians and to renew existing Christians with the gift of the Spirit in Confirmation. As the candidates make their promises in preparation for these Gifts, everyone will have the opportunity to renew their own baptismal promises.
The service is followed by the annual Easter Egg hunt in the church gardens.
All are welcome to an informal lunch to take place in the Vicarage and garden after Mass. Donations are welcome on the day, but your presence is more important than your money, so do come!
For more updates from the Parish’s events, head over to the News and Events page. We also have an archive of updates about our events, so give that a look, too.
Christ Church and the fountain garden are open throughout the day to allow any passing by to ‘come and see’, explore the building, to make use of it to sit and reflect and to pray, or just for a bit of peace!
The church garden with its attractive fountain provides a restful space in the midst of busy Brunswick.
The icon of the Annunciation in the Lady chapel is a particular place for prayer and prayer requests can be left there.
The church and garden are generally open by 7 a.m. and closes when Evening prayers end at 6.30 p.m.
Bishop Lindsay Urwin, parish priest at Christ Church, writes:
We are delighted to welcome you to the Christ Church website! Our website, like our life together is a work in progress, and it will just give you a little taster of what our life is like and about who is at the centre of all that we are and seek to be and do. That ‘who’ is Jesus.
The question ‘Who is Jesus?’ has tantalized the world for two thousand years, and still does! Beginning on Sunday 14th Christians will be entering the most important week of the year, sometimes called ‘Holy’ week, sometimes called the ‘Great’ week. In our church services we live the story of the death and the resurrection of Jesus as it is written in the Bible. It may seem a strange thing to say, but in my experience the story becomes more believable and alive when you hear it with other people in worship. We pray and we sing and we literally act out the stories.
So on Palm Sunday (April 14th) we’ll begin our service with a donkey because Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, a symbol of a peaceful king in the bible. On Thursday feet will be washed because Jesus washed the feet of his disciples on the night before he died. And we will pray until midnight because Jesus asked his disciples to watch with him in the night hours before his arrest. On Friday we try to get close the the hill on which Jesus died. And Sunday, on Sunday it is a great day of celebration with the church looking beautiful and we sing the first ‘Alleluias’ of Easter.
In the early centuries of Christianity it was common to baptize new Christians on Easter Day. We shall do that at Christ Church. The main service will be at 10 a.m. I can promise you it will be full of joy!
In the early days of Christianity someone who was not a believer but who looked on from a bit of a distance described what was then this new group of people as worshipping Jesus ‘as if he were God’. It’s something of a jumping of catagories, even a surprise to come to a conclusion that God, who can seem so remote and unknowable, ‘reveals’ himself in this way. And yet, what better way to give us an understanding of who he is and his purpose for us than to become one with us, to literally get under our skin, experience our life?
Whatever you make of Jesus at this stage in your life, it’s amazing to think one life could have had such an influence on history, on art, on literature, on education and legal systems, on social understanding and the landscape of just about every village, town and city in this land. Buildings made for worship of this man were among the first to go up in Melbourne!
For us at Christ Church this all matters very much. For us, it’s not just the story of an historical figure, but of someone we love, whom we try to worship, follow and serve.
Good disciples of Jesus are learning three ways of loving – the love of God, his for us and ours for him; the love of neighbour, and the love of self. Notice I said learning! We are a community unafraid to admit our need for ‘L’ plates! These can never be removed from the back or front of a disciple of Jesus. There is always more to discover about the Lord and about the demands and joys of love.
So the Church is a community of love helping to create a civilization of love. If you make a decision to ‘come and see’ at Christ Church it is our hope and our intention that you will indeed experience some of that love.
Lindsay Urwin OGS