Traditionally the week before Easter is called Holy Week beginning this year on 25th March, with a Palm Sunday procession in Cutcombe, during which we hand out Palm crosses. This begins at 10.30am at the Triangle Field and continues in the Parish Church usually around 11am. In a change to the usual procession this year, we will collect Stations of the Cross along our route to church. Stations of the Cross are fourteen scenes from the life of Jesus as he was led to the Cross and we have a new set of these beautifully painted for us by Micaela Beckett.
On Wednesday 28th March, Exford Church host the Barle Singers with a performance of Durufle’s Requiem beginning at 7.30pm. The Maundy Thursday service will be on Thursday 29th March at 7.30pm at Exford. The Communion is followed by the removal of all portable decoration from the church such as embroidered altar frontal, called the ‘stripping of the altar’. The symbolism is an invitation to us to strip away what is unnecessary in our life and focus on what is essential, what givea us a sense of meaning and purpose. After the removal of decoration from the church, there is a silent vigil in the chancel until 9pm when we say Compline, a short service of ancient prayers and psalms.
On Good Friday we are back at Cutcombe church for children’s activities in the church at 10am followed by an Easter egg hunt organised with the Friends of Cutcombe school. This is an opportunity for children to hear the Easter story. That afternoon at 3pm in Winsford is a time of solemn reflection on the story of Jesus journey with the Cross, through silence, words and music. The tradition is to arrive and leave in silence.
On Saturday evening we have the first Holy Communions of Easter. This year enjoying again our new tradition of an Easter Communion service at Simonsbath church at 6pm. There is also the Easter Communion at Hawkridge at 10pm for those people who are lambing and might find this a convenient time. On Easter Day there are services across the Benefice at 9.30am and 11am.
Everyone is welcome to all of these services and if you would like more information please get in touch.
All the Best, David Weir.