St Albans churches celebrate Easter

CHURCHES across the district are preparing for one of the busiest weekends in their calendars, the celebrations surrounding Good Friday and Easter.

These are some of the events taking place locally, as supplied to the Herts Advertiser by the individual churches themselves.

* St Paul’s Church, Blandford Road.

Thursday, April 5, 8pm – Maundy Thursday Holy Communion.

Friday, April 6, 10.30am – Good Friday Family Service, followed by hot cross buns and an hour of creative activity; 2pm – “An hour at the cross”, a quiet reflective service.

Sunday, April 8, 8am – Traditional Holy Communion; 10.30am – Easter Day Family Communion, including praise march from Morrison’s car park via Hatfield Road Methodist Church to St Paul’s. Meet in Morrison’s car park at 10am. You are welcome to come on the march or meet at the church; 6.30pm – Easter Evening Praise.

* Forest Town Church, Lyon Way.

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Sunday, April 8, 10am – Easter Service.

* Dagnall Street Baptist Church.

Maundy Thursday April 5 – Communion 8pm.

Good Friday, April 6, 10.15am – Worship.

Easter Sunday, April 8, 9am – Breakfast Communion; 10.30am – Family Worship; 6.30pm – Evening Worship.

* Network Church, Rothamsted Conference Centre, off the A1081 Harpenden Road.

Sunday, April 8, 10.30am – Easter Service. You are very welcome to stay for coffee after the service at 12noon. See website for more information.

* St Luke’s Church, Cell Barnes Lane.

Maundy Thursday, April 5, 8pm – Maundy Thursday Communion.

Good Friday, April 6, 10.30am – Walk of the Cross, meeting at St Luke’s Church, with refreshments at Thirlmere Church following the walk; 2pm – Hour before the Cross and Children’s Hour before the Cross.

Easter Day, April 8, 9am – Holy Communion; 10.30am – Easter Celebration with Communion.

* St Albans City Salvation Army Corps, Victoria Street.

Good Friday, April 6, 10.30am – “At the Cross” .

Easter Day, April 8,10.30am – All-age service.

* SS Alban & Stephen Catholic Church, Beaconsfield Road.

Good Friday, April 6, 3pm – Liturgy of the Passion.

Holy Saturday, April 7, 9pm – Easter Vigil.

Easter Sunday, April 8, 8am, 9.30am and 11.30am – Masses; 4pm – Polish Mass.

* St Albans Cathedral

During Holy Week we are invited to share in Christ’s own journey, from the triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to the desolation of Good Friday and Holy Saturday, and the joyful celebrations of Easter. These services contain some of the most ancient texts used in the Church, and help us to enter more fully into the mystery of God’s love for us, shown in the death and resurrection of his Son. Please come to what you can.

We are delighted to welcome as our Holy Week preacher this year The Rev The Lord Griffiths of Burry Port. Lord Griffiths is Superintendent Minister of Wesley’s Chapel in London, and a regular contributor to Thought for the Day.

Maundy Thursday, April 5 – Today we remember the Last Supper, when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples as a sign of loving service, shared bread and wine and instituted the Eucharist, and called on his disciples to follow his way of love. That night he was arrested as he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane. 11am – Eucharist with Blessing of Oils and Act of Commitment to Ministry (Abbey Girls Choir and Parish Orchestra). The Bishop of St Albans blesses oil for use in the parishes, and leads ministers of the diocese in a renewal of their commitment to serve God and their neighbours; 8pm – Maundy Eucharist (Cathedral Choir). The service includes the washing of the feet of 12 people and is followed by the stripping of all decoration from the altars. A vigil of prayer is kept until midnight (stay for as long as you wish; please enter or leave the vigil by the Cedar Tree Door in Sumpter Yard only).

Good Friday, April 6 – Today we remember Jesus’ death on a cross: for Christians his death is the greatest sign of God’s love for the world and a victory over evil. 8.30am – Morning Prayer; 10am – Pre-School Children’s Service. A very short and simple service for young children; 11.30am – Good Friday Children’s Event. Three hours of craft workshops and activities for children aged five and upwards. Please phone 890233 for more information; 12noon – Three Hours Devotion (Cathedral Choir from 1.30pm). You are welcome to stay for the whole three hours or for either of the two sections. Please enter or leave the Nave by the West Doors; 12-1.30pm –Preaching of the Passion. Dr Leslie Griffiths leads a meditation on the cross with hymns, prayers and silence; 1.30-3pm – The Liturgy of Good Friday Sung Passion, the Proclamation of the Cross, and the opportunity to receive the Sacrament consecrated at the Maundy Eucharist; 7.30pm – Walk of Witness from St Alban and St Stephen’s Church to the Cathedral for 8pm. Unity at the Cross, an ecumenical service, planned and led this year by South St Albans Churches, on behalf of Churches Together in St Albans.

Easter Eve, April 7 – On the Saturday Jesus’ body lay in the tomb: for us a quiet day of preparation for our Easter celebrations which break out as night falls; 4pm – Evensong (Cathedral Choir); 8.30pm – Easter Vigil (Abbey Girls Choir). Led by the Bishop of St Albans, this first service of Easter begins quietly in darkness, but ends in joyful light and noise as we greet the risen Christ. Many young people and adults will be baptised and confirmed as we celebrate our faith in Jesus, risen from the dead.

Easter Day, April 8 – On the Sunday Jesus’ disciples found his tomb was empty, then met and ate with the risen Jesus. Today our celebrations, begun last night, continue with festival services throughout the day.

8am – Eucharist with hymns; 9.30am – Easter Eucharist (Cathedral Choir). Preacher: The Rt Rev Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans; 11.15am – Matins (Cathedral Choir). Preacher: The Very Rev Jeffrey John, Dean; 12.30pm – Eucharist; 6.30pm – Evensong (Abbey Girls Choir and men of the Cathedral Choir). Preacher: The Revd Dr Leslie Griffiths.

Easter Monday, April 9, 3pm – Easter Monday Pilgrimage. People, young and old, walk to the Abbey from across the diocese to meet and gather together in the cathedral from 2pm. The service starts at 3pm. Track the pilgrims’ progress on Twitter #emp2012

* Christ Church, High Oaks.

Maundy Thursday, April 5, 8pm – Holy Communion; Good Friday, April 6, 10.40am – Good Friday Service; Easter Day, April 7, 9am – 9 O’clock Special and Holy Communion; 10.40am – All-age Communion.

* St Michael’s, Childwick Green.

Maundy Thursday, April 5, 8-9.30pm – The Last Supper with Stripping of the Altar and Vigil.

Good Friday, April 6, 12pm – Liturgy of Good Friday with Passion Reading.

Easter Day, April 8, 8am – Holy Communion; 9.30am – Parish Communion (Easter Egg Hunt).

* St Mary’s Childwick Green.

Good Friday, April 6, 8pm – Compline (sung).

Easter Day, April 8 – No service at St Mary’s but 9.30am combined service at St Michael’s.