A message for Holy Week from Bishop Denis

A most special week For Christians, Holy Week is the most important week of the year. Holy Week lasts from Palm Sunday until Easter Sunday and reaches its highpoint in what we call the Easter Triduum – those three great days from the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper to Evening Prayer on Easter Sunday. Reflecting on the Scriptures and turning to ritual and symbols, Christians throughout the world, journey with Jesus through those final days of his life, his passion, his death and resurrection. In the process, we experience God’s redemptive presence, our faith is deepened, our hope is renewed and our commitment to living a life of love of God and one another is strengthened. A different way of praying as a community of faith This year our celebrations will be very different from anything that has gone before. The restrictions in place because of the Covid-19 Pandemic mean that as a Christian Community we cannot gather together for our usual religious services. This will not prevent us from uniting spiritually and taking time to pray, to reflect and to make this Holy Week a truly enriching experience of the presence of God in our lives. This guide is to assist us in walking the journey of Holy Week 2020 together, even if we must be apart. Broadcast ceremonies We are blessed that many of the traditional ceremonies associated with Holy Week will be livestreamed over the internet or broadcast on radio or television. While recognising that this cannot fully substitute for being present at the ceremony, this guide is designed to help deepen your participation in those broadcasts and to assist you in getting the most out of them spiritually. For those who wish, the liturgical texts of the various ceremonies are available at https://us.magnificat.net/free. In the home Not everyone can watch the broadcast ceremonies. For those who cannot, this guide has a simple prayer ritual for each day of Holy Week that can be celebrated alone or with your household. Prayer space Please set up a prayer space in a prominent place in your home. There, each day, you can place different symbols or things of meaning to you and your family. You might start by placing in the prayer space the most beautiful candle you have to remind us of the living presence of Jesus among us and a Bible which contains God’s Word. 1 To do Each day there will be a call to action. To do something different or significant that puts the message of that particular day into practice. Other opportunities for prayer and reflection During the week there may be other opportunities for prayer – why not pray the Stations of the Cross, the Rosary, a guided meditation or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Safety This guide is designed for use by a single household. All safety advice, including that for people cocooning within a household, should be adhered to. If using candles, please do so safely.