Redbridge Christians marking Holy Week of Easter
PUBLISHED: 08:00 29 March 2013
As priests around the borough get ready for their busy period of Easter, one reverend has explained the significance of one of the holiest weeks in the Christian calendar.
Rev Jonathan Evens, of St John’s Church, St Johns Road, Seven Kings said he will be using the Holy Week, which marks the death and Resurrection of Jesus, for reflection.
It is preceded by 40 days of Lent during which time many Christians prepare themselves through prayer, repentance and self-denial.
Rev Evens said: “Easter is a time for reflection and forgiveness.
Palm Sunday: Jesus arrives in Jerusalem to cheering crowds
Maundy Thursday: Jesus has the Last Supper with his disciples before being betrayed by Judas leading to him being arrested
Good Friday: Jesus is crucified on the Cross
Holy Saturday: Jesus in the tomb
Easter Sunday: Jesus rises from the dead. This is the last day of Holy Week
“This year I’m reflecting on the thought that Jesus, in dying on the Cross, was taking all the hurt and all the pain in life on to himself and into himself and moving beyond it.” On Sunday, St John’s Church held a Palm Sunday procession with St Paul’s Church, Barley Lane Goodmayes. Palm Sunday falls on the Sunday before Easter and commemorates Jesus and his followers entering Jerusalem.
Often small crosses made out of palm leaves are given to worshippers as, according to the gospel of Matthew, palm branches were placed in Jesus’ path.
Rev Evens said: “When Jesus entered Jerusalem it was jubilant but then it turns sour and he’s arrested and put on trial, falsely convicted and sentenced to death by crucifixion.”
Yesterday was Maundy Thursday and marked the Last Supper and the day that Jesus was betrayed by one of his followers leading to him being arrested. Rev Evens washed the feet of his congregation in a special service to mark the Last Supper.
He said: “At the Last Supper Jesus washed the feet of his disciples as this was something usual done by servants.
“He did this as a way of teaching the disciples that they are not to lord it over other people and to be the servants of others.”
The congregation also took time to reflect on the Cross using some pieces of art by Redbridge artist Henry Shelton.
Today is known as Good Friday and commemorates the day Jesus was crucified.
This will be marked at St John’s Church with a 10am service as well as activities such as crafts and egg hunts for children. This will be followed by a devotional service at 2pm.
Rev Evens said: “We call it Good Friday as although the events are horrific, the effect for us is enormously good.”
On Saturday, sometimes known as Holy Saturday, it is believed that Jesus was in his tomb so it is a day of quiet reflection with many churches choosing not to mark the day. Rev Evens says that it is at this point everyone believes it is the end, but Christians believe that Jesus rises from the dead.
“He dies on the Cross and is then brought into a tomb and we believe he rises to life and he overcomes death,” Rev Evens said.
“He comes through and out the other side of death and therefore gives us hope of life beyond death for us as well.”
This will be marked on Sunday with a sunrise service at 6.30am, communion at 8am and another service at 10am.