Holy Saturday

Thine be the glory,
Risen, conqu’ring Son;
Endless is the victory,
Thou o’er death hast won;
Angels in bright raiment
Rolled the stone away,
Kept the folded grave clothes
Where Thy body lay.
Thine be the glory,
Risen conquering Son,
Endless is the victory,
Thou o’er death hast won.


Lo! Jesus meets us,
Risen from the tomb;
Lovingly He greets us,
Scatters fear and gloom;
Let the church with gladness,
Hymns of triumph sing;
For her Lord now liveth,
Death hath lost its sting.
Thine be the glory,
Risen conquering Son,
Endless is the victory,
Thou o’er death hast won.


No more we doubt Thee,
Glorious Prince of life;
Life is naught without Thee;
Aid us in our strife;
Make us more than conquerors,
Through Thy deathless love:
Bring us safe through Jordan
To Thy home above.
Thine is the glory,
Risen conquering Son,
Endless is the victory,
Thou o’er death hast won.

Good Friday

I tread on the grass where the dew lies deep
While the air is clear and the world’s asleep;
I tramp on the verge of a dream that’s gone –
How I miss the Lord of the Morning!
Morning!
How can daylight dawn
Now I miss the Lord of the Morning?
 
I trod through the streets on the resting day,
Not a soul in sight, not a child at play;
I tramped on the ash of a fire once bright —
How I miss the Lord of the Morning!
Morning!
Let it still be night,
For I miss the Lord of the Morning!
 
I trod all the way from the town to the hill
And I found my way, but I lost my will;
I tramped up the stairs to a room turned strange –
How I miss the Lord of the Morning!
Morning!
Nothing can derange
How I miss the Lord of the Morning!
 
I trod out the hours on a wine-stained floor
Till the darkness warned of the day in store;
I tramped to a garden, engulfed in dread –
How I miss the Lord of the Morning!
Morning!
Life and love are dead
And I miss the Lord of the Morning.



Text: Lord of the morning by John Bell © Wild Goose Resource Group
Artwork by Mark Simms

Sermon for Palm Sunday

The Gospel of Matthew 21: 1-11

Palm Sunday is the beginning of the end. It marks a change in direction for Lent. We have crept closer and closer to this moment in time and now it is suddenly here. We are invited through Palm Sunday and the rest of Holy Week not just to be spectators, or even witnesses, but to be partakers in God’s story of salvation.

Yet “normal” practice this year is different. No hunting around to see if there is a spare donkey available, no counting out palm crosses, or processions outside. And although there is a lot we are discovering can be done on Zoom and other video conferencing, social media outlets, I am fairly sure that people will not be trying to process with palms and donkeys in living rooms via the internet!

However, we can be partakers in God’s story of salvation. We can immerse ourselves in this Holy “est” of weeks.

It is perhaps with a little irony that the word that stands out for me in Matthew’s gospel telling of Jesus entry into Jerusalem is the word “crowds”. They are mentioned three times in 11 verses. It is the crowds who lay cloaks and branches in the road. It is the crowds who shout out to Jesus and it is the crowds who answer when the people in Jerusalem ask who this man is. I am sure that the word “crowd” is heightened for us all at the moment, as we haven’t seen one or been part of one for a number of weeks. There is a busyness about that image of the crowd. Lots of people walking along together makes for a noisy and bustling scene. (The last time many people of Bristol were part of that large crowd was only a month ago when many of us gathered on college green to hear Greta Thunberg speak about climate change and its impact.) It would have been hectic and loud in the city that day as people jostled for space in Jerusalem. Pilates soldiers alongside hundreds of pilgrims who had made their way to that one space. A sense of excitement builds as Jesus begins his final week.

So what does it mean to be part of a crowd? It suggests a common interest. Individuals who can be described as one group. A camaraderie. The crowds in the bible today came perhaps for a variety of reasons. Maybe they just happened to be there? Ever been one of those people in the crowd? When something happens that you were not expecting, but you were pleased to have got caught up in it? Some of the crowds came with Jesus from the Mount of Olives, they semi escort him into the city. Ever been one of those people in the crowd? Someone who was part of the organising? Some people in the crowd came because they had heard about it beforehand and out of curiosity decided to come, perhaps even at the last minute. And what struck me about being part of a “crowd” is that individuals can remain anonymous. They don’t have to stand out, or be noticed particularly, it is their simple physical presence and proximity in time and space that make them “the crowd”. Yet there is a sense of having wanted to be part of “this crowd” that hailed Jesus into the city that day 2000 years ago.

Of course the same crowds that surrounded Jesus today, waving branches, hailing him as the new King and Saviour, are the same crowds who shout “Crucify” later on this week. Again their anonymity is preserved.  That is a “crowd” that I know that am less eager to own. A crowd that I would like to distance myself from, but nevertheless a crowd that I am also a partaker in.

Yet the depth of Holy Week, and the depths that we are invited to be partakers in is anything but “crowd” like. One of the greatest threads of the Bible and of Gods story of salvation is that we are each individually known and called by name, whether that is Jonah, Moses, Noah, Ruth, Lazarus or Mary. We are invited to be ourselves most fully with God, who allowed himself to be most fully human. It reminds me of the words that priests say as they pour wine and water into a chalice before the Eucharistic Prayer – “May we all share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity”

That requires a huge amount of vulnerability. Being ourselves with God. It requires the Holy “est” of undertakings. As we are invited into God’s story at this time, in this place, with sisters and brothers from around God’s world. I pray that we might in the difficult weeks ahead hold to the fact that as individuals called by name, we are invited to know what it means to call God, Our Lord and Saviour. To be be partaker. To take part.

Blessing of the Palms Prayer

God our Saviour,

whose Son Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem as Messiah to suffer and to die;

let these palms be for us signs of his victory

and grant that we who bear them in his name

may ever hail him as our King,

and follow him in the way that leads to eternal life;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

Holy Week Resources

Radio

Palm Sunday

  • 5.45am Radio 4 Lent Talk Writer Tim Lott reflects on identity and parenthood
  • 6.00am Radio 2 Good Morning Sunday 3 Hours of chat and music for Palm Sunday
  • 6.05am Radio 4 Something Understood Rabbi Shashana Boyd Gelfand on Immortality
  • 7.10am Radio 4 Sunday Edward Stourton looks at ethical and religious issues
  • 8.00am Bristol Radio Sunday Morning Worship
  • 8.10am Radio 4 Sunday Worship Walking in the Company of Jesus
  • 3.30pm Radio 3 Choral Evensong from Magdalen College Oxford
  • 7.30pm Radio 3 Music for Holy Week Bach, Handel, Lassus and Schnittke

Monday

  • 5.43 am Radio 4 Prayer for the Day
  • 9.45am Radio 4 Daily Service
  • 4.30pm Radio 4 Beyond Belief Sin: Discussion about how we define Sin.

Tuesday

  • 5.43 am Radio 4 Prayer for the Day
  • 9.45am Radio 4 Daily Service

Wednesday

  • 5.43 am Radio 4 Prayer for the Day
  • 9.45am Radio 4 Daily Service
  • 3.30pm Radio 3 Choral Evensong from Westminster Cathedral
  • 8.45pm Radio 4 Lent Talk Bishop of Loughborough

Maunday Thursday

  • 5.43 am Radio 4 Prayer for the Day
  • 9.45am Radio 4 Daily Service

Good Friday

  • 5.43 am Radio 4 Prayer for the Day
  • 9.45am Radio 4 Daily Service
  • 2.00pm Radio 3 Bach St Johns Passion BBC National Chorus/Orchastra of Wales
  • 3.00pm Radio 4 Good Friday Meditation
  • 7.00pm Radio 2 At the foot of the Cross An evening of music and reflection
  • 7.00pm Radio 3 Bach’s St Matthews Passion Berlin Philharmonic/Rattle

Television

Palm Sunday

  • 11.00am BBC1 Sunday Worship from Hereford Cathedral, led by the Dean
  • 1.15pm BBC1 Songs of Praise from Glasgow Cathedral

Good Friday

  • 1.40pm BBC1 Heavenly Gardens Featuring Gardens steeped in faith and Spirituality

Benefice Resources

Palm Sunday


Dear All Saints and St Marys

Grace, Mercy and Peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

As Parishes, as a Benefice, as a Partnership and as a wider Diocese and National Church many different resources are being made available online for Holy Week. Over the course of the next few days and into Holy Week we will be offering some of these for people to use and reflect with, either on their own or with others in their household. I hope that they bring you closer to God as we journey through Holy Week in this strange and isolating time in our history and lives.

My thanks to everyone across the Churches who have been able to bring these resources together

Shelia McKay – Messy Church Holy Week

Mark Simms  – Lectionary

Revd Sally Prendergast (Collated by Diane Simms)

Dan Jones – Diocesan Youth and Children’s

Neil Warwick – Archdeacon of Bristol

Margaret Morgan – Radio and TV listings

Attached are – Reflections for Palm Sunday, Worship this Sunday, A Lectionary for April and a Holy Week Craft Cross Activity.

I will collate some more resources and send them in the next few days.

I will celebrate communion at home this Palm Sunday at 10.30am. Do join me in prayer at this time if you can or with the other resources offered here and then if you can for the Zoom Coffee chat an Prayer.

May the Lord God Bless you and Keep you until we meet again.

Revd Lizzie


  1. National Online Church Service – https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland
  2. Archdeacon of Bristol’s message for Palm Sunday – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQWfZ9p9ZlE
  3. Zoom – Benefice Coffee and Chat and Prayer – 11.15am – https://us04web.zoom.us/j/3844812381
  4. Generations 7:15pm via Zoom