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Lent, Holy Week and Easter

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
forgive our foolish ways!

After a few short weeks of Ordinary time, we are about to enter another key season in the life of the Church:  the 40 Days of Lent.  Lent is a journey of self-reflection and spiritual growth that begins on Ash Wednesday and comes to a dramatic conclusion with the life-changing events of Holy Week.  Often thought of as a grim season, Lent - like - Spring has a positive aspect.  It can be a season of new life and fresh growth.

Ash Wednesday

Like any journey, it is good to prepare well before setting out on an open-eyed and open-hearted spiritual trek.  Our service for Ash Wednesday can help you do this.

Holy Communion with Imposition of Ashes
Ash Wednesday - 6 March 2019
7.30pm at All Saints Church, Mears Ashby
with
The 4 Villages Community Choir

The service includes the opportunity - if you wish - to receive the mark of the cross on the forehead in ashes, as a sign of our penitence for the times when we have strayed from God's love and as a sign of our personal commitment to walk closely with Jesus each day of Lent.  It's a solemn and deeply moving moment that opens up the way to new life and fresh growth.  Do join us if you can.


Details of our Sunday Services through Lent can be found in our Benefice Calendar.  Do look out for our special service on Mothering Sunday - 10am on Sunday 31 March 2019 at All Saints Church, Mears Ashby.

Watch out for details of our short Lent Course.  These will be published shortly.


Holy Week and Easter

Our 40 Day journey through Lent comes to an exciting conclusion when we recall Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, his daily visits to the temple, his Last Supper with his closest friends, his time of agonising prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane followed by his betrayal - trial - death on the Cross for us.  And then, our spirits lift as we celebrate with joy his bursting from the tomb - the gift of new life - on Easter Day.  Do come and join us at one or more of these services.  For those of you with young children, look out for Lilac the Donkey on Palm Sunday and Messy Easter on Good Friday at Overstone Church.

Palm Sunday - Sunday 14 April 2019

9am Morning Worship
St. Leonard's Hardwick

Our Morning Worship for Palm Sunday will include Bible readings, hymns, prayers, a short reflection and the distribution of palm crosses.  All are welcome.

11am Family Communion with Palm Sunday Procession
St. Nicholas, Overstone

Our Palm Sunday service begins outside (weather permitting) with a procession down the lane into church.  Lilac the Donkey will lead us all the way to the front door of the church, as we celebrate Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey with the crowds shouting "Hosanna to the Son of David!" and strewing palm branches onto the ground at his feet.  Our celebrations in church conclude with us sharing in the meal that Jesus gave us.

Do come and join us if you can.

6pm Stainer's Crucifixion
All Saints Church, EARLS BARTON, NN6 0JG

On the evening of Palm Sunday, members of our 4 Villages Community Choir and those from choirs across Wellingborough Deanery will come together in All Saints Church, Earls Barton to sing the Crucixion by Sir John Stainer.

Conductor:   Tony Edwards
Tenor Solo:   Keith Green
Bass Solo:    Mark Burnapp
Organ:          Paul Harris

Do come and listen to this moving account of Christ's Passion.

Evening Prayer in Holy Week

As we recall Jesus' daily visits to the temple to listen, teach and pray, so we gather in prayer each evening at 7.30pm.  On Monday and Tuesday evening, this is in the form a short service of Night Prayer (Compline); it's a beautiful and reflective way to draw the day to a close.  On Wednesday evening, we follow Jesus on the way of the cross with the help of music, readings and prayer stations (activities).  Do come and join us when you can.

Monday 15 April 2019
7.30pm Compline at
St. Leonard's, Hardwick 

Tuesday 16 April 2019
7.30pm Compline at 
All Saints, Mears Ashby

Wednesday 17 April 2019
7.30pm Following the Way of the Cross

Maundy Thursday - Thursday 18 April 2019

7.30pm Holy Communion for Maundy Thursday
All Saints, Mears Ashby

A Holy Communion service to celebrate the Last Supper when Christ washed his disciples' feet as an act of loving service (and as a sign that they should serve others) and gave them bread and wine to remember his life-changing promise to them (and us).  At the end of the service, there will be the opportunity - if you wish - to join in an hour's vigil as we recall Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane praying to his Father for guidance.

Good Friday - Friday 19 April 2019

Messy Easter
10am St. Nicholas, Overstone

Come as a family and explore the Holy Week adventures of Jesus and his Friends with its exciting conclusion on Easter morning - Surprise!  Jesus is risen!  Have fun joining in our creative craft and thoughtful prayer activities, and listen again to the Easter Story as it is told through a series of objects.  I wonder if you can guess what's inside the eggs? 

Sample our hot cross buns.  And, take away a chocolate egg.

Do come and join in the celebrations!

Soup Lunch
12.30pm Hardwick Village Hall

Come and join us for a simple yet very tasty lunch of homemade soup and bread rolls on Good Friday.  It is a lovely way to come together as a church family before spending an hour before the Cross.

An Hour before the Cross
2pm St. Leonard's, Hardwick

It does what is says. It's an hour long service when we listen to the events of Good Friday and reflect on how Jesus' death touches our lives and shapes who we are.  It includes well-known and loved Good Friday hymns.

It is a moving and memorable experience.

Easter Day - Sunday 21 April 2019

On Easter Morning, across the benefice we will celebrate that Jesus Christ is risen!  Alleluia!  At Sywell, this includes an Easter egg hunt for the children after the service.  All are welcome at our services.  Do come and celebrate the greatest gift of all - Jesus' invitation of life in all its fullness for everyone (John 10:10).

Easter Communions:

8am - St. Leonard's, Hardwick
9.30am - All Saints, Mears Ashby
11am - St. Peter & St. Paul, Sywell
followed by Easter Egg Hunt


If you have any questions on our Lent, Holy Week and Easter services, please contact our Vicar - Revd Katrina.