REV ROGER JACKSON: Reflecting on the Cross and what it means to us

The Passion Play, which was performed in Havant on Good Friday in 2017. Churches are once again preparing for Holy Week
The Passion Play, which was performed in Havant on Good Friday in 2017. Churches are once again preparing for Holy Week
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The vicar of St Peter and St Paul, Fareham, explains what Easter services represent

Next week is what we in the church call Holy Week.

We count down the last few days of Jesus’s life on earth and then celebrate his resurrection. It starts with Palm Sunday, this Sunday.

At 9.30am the congregation and I will gather outside church to begin our worship.

We’ll remember the way that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, as people shouted ‘Hosanna’ – and we’ll process into church in a similar way.

A few days later comes Maundy Thursday, March 30, when we recall Jesus having his Last Supper with his disciples.

One thing that Jesus did that evening was to wash his disciples’ feet, illustrating how we should love and serve each other in practical ways. We’ll be doing the same at our church.

Of course the other thing that Jesus did was to share bread and wine with his disciples, asking them to remember his body and blood as he did so. This was the start of what we now call Holy Communion, which we’ll be celebrating that evening.

Good Friday, on March 31, marks the commemoration of the death of Christ.

Only a few days after he processed into Jerusalem, he was crucified in the most brutal way. We remember that he went through this voluntarily, and that he took the blame for those things we do wrong by dying for us.

Our services that day will include time to reflect on the Cross and what it means for us.

We then start to celebrate Easter on Saturday, which is known as Easter Eve. Our church will be in darkness as we recall Jesus in the tomb.

Then our Paschal Candle is lit, and the light floods through the church as we proclaim Jesus’s resurrection.

The fact that Jesus rose from the dead confirms that we can also enjoy everlasting life.

We’ll therefore renew our own faith as we repeat the promises made at our baptisms. That celebration continues on Easter Sunday morning.

I always think it’s hard to remain unmoved by the events of Holy Week.

It’s an emotional time as we recall the agonies of Jesus’s death and the joy of his resurrection. You would be very welcome to join us and share in this special time. You can find full details and timings on our website stpeterandstpaulfareham.org

St Peter and St Paul’s Church is in Osborn Road, Fareham,