Resonant moments of Holy Week

Fr Ian looks back at the liturgies of Holy Week and the Great Three Days this year

At the Easter Vigil

At the Easter Vigil

The worship of Holy Week and Easter enters deeply into the imagination, mind and soul. It is a time to let this happen, and so be nourished spiritually with the sacred signs, sacraments and symbols of this holy time. Some of the most poignant moments are familiar to all, and were for me again this year. They include the sense of togetherness (‘team work’) in the experience of the worship, the washing of feet, the watch at the altar of repose, the desolation of Good Friday, light and dark of the Easter Vigil, and the singing of the Exsultet.

Some moments are particular to the year and to the individual. I thought I would share some of my resonant moments of this year, and in doing so encourage others to consider what resonated for them.

The darkness and lament of Tenebrae: Having suffered a recent close bereavement I found the laments sung in Tenebrae allowed me to bring deep feelings forward in prayer, and doing this was comforting in the serenity and darkness of the liturgy.

The Altar of Repose on Maundy Thursday

The Altar of Repose on Maundy Thursday

People at prayer in the Watch: I experienced a feeling of solidarity in prayer at the Maundy Thursday watch, not only with those at prayer in church but also with Christians around the world who were praying at the same time.


Maria Desolata: Patty Wickman’s Passion Painting which formed part of our devotion on Good Friday evening had a significant effect on me. Here was Mary back at home asleep, as it were, on Good Friday. However, her sleep was calm. It was a sleep which inspired and tried to begin to give meaning and hope to the devastating events.

One of the flower displays made by children of our schools for Easter

One of the flower displays made by children of our schools for Easter


Solemn Te Deum: After we’d received Communion at Mass on Easter Day we had a new feature at Mass – a singing, with lashings of incense, of the Te Deum, an ancient song of praise of the Church, sung with lots of Alleluias. The joy of the singing, the beauty of the church and people together and the strength of the worship was wonderful and uplifting.


About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester, UK. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community rejoicing in our Anglo Catholic tradition, where people of many differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at
This entry was posted in Anglican, Anglo Catholic, Art, Catholic, Christian, Christianity, Easter, Faith, Prayer, Spirituality and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.