Whitewater Benefice


All Services at St John's unless otherwise stated.
Palm Sunday 17 April

10am Palm Sunday Eucharist

7pm Shine

Monday 18 April

4-6pm Family Passover meal - sign up in Narthex

8pm Benefice Passover or 'Seder' Meal - sign up in Narthex

Tuesday 19 April

8pm Stations of the Cross

Wednesday 20 April

10am Holy Communion

Maundy Thursday 21 April

11am Cathedral Eucharist

8pm Eucharast & Tenebrae

Good Friday 22 April

9am Stations of the Cross

11am Liturgy of the Cross

1:30pm A journey through Holy Week
at Mattingley

3:00pm Benefice Pilgrimage, start at Heckfield

Holy Saturday 23 April

3:30-5pm Messy Easter - for families (with children aged 11 & user)

Easter Sunday 24 April

5:30am The Easter Vigil

10am Festival Eucharist, for all the family

6:30pm Choral Evensong at Mattingley

Icon of the Crucifiction

We extend a warm welcome to you all to join us in worship during Holy Week and Easter.

Holy Week is the most important week of the year, in which we go with Jesus on the road to the Cross and Resurrection. The emphasis is on participation and doing - being part of the drama as it is told and enacted through the week. Doing helps deepen our understanding of what Jesus did for us.

Palm Sunday 17th April

On Palm Sunday at our 10 o'clock Eucharist we begin the journey, as Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey. We walk around the church in procession before the Eucharist, carrying small crosses made of palm leaf, in memory of the palm branches strewn on Jesus' road. During the Eucharist we remember Jesus in Jerusalem.

Passover Meals Holy Monday 18th April

Children and Families from 4 to 6pm, Benefice Passover Meal at 8pm
The Passover Meal is based on the Jewish Seder service, in which food (and wine), laughter and story-telling all play a part. Please book your place in advance by signing up on the list in the church Narthex at St John's or by contacting the Benefice Office.

Stations of the Cross - Tuesday 19th April at 8pm & Good Friday at 9am

This is a simple service in which we walk around the church stopping at stations, pictures of different moments in the story of the Passion, Jesus' final journey through Jerusalem to his crucifixion. Prayers and a reflection take place at each. The value is simply in doing the journey, for it helps us to imagine and feel our way into the events of Good Friday, and how the Cross of Jesus is an important part of our lives now.

Eucharist & Tenebrae - Maundy Thursday 21st April

This is the first day in the Great Three Days or the Triduum. It is especially kept as the day on which we commemorate the events in the Upper Room, when Jesus shared bread and wine with his disciples, and washed their feet, before going out to the Garden of Gethsemane and arrest. In the evening at 8pm we shall remember the act of the washing of the disciples' feet.

The word Tenebrae is Latin for shadows. The service has long scripture narratives, which for this service are divided into seven, eight, or nine parts, each one assigned to a different reader. The purpose of the service is to recreate the betrayal, abandonment, and agony of the events, and it is left unfinished, because the story isn't over until Easter Day.

At the end of the Eucharist the church is stripped of all moveable ornaments and decorations to leave it suitably stark and bare for the solemnity of Good Friday, and to symbolise the way Jesus was abandoned by his friends and stripped.

Bread and wine consecrated at the Eucharist are reserved and taken to the Altar of Repose in the Lady Chapel, where the Virgil takes place. This is to recall the Agony and prayer Jesus whent through in the Garden of Gethsemane. People are free to come and go during the Vigil as they wish; either to spend all the time quietly praying and to thinking, or to go and come back.

Good Friday 22nd April

9am Stations of the Cross

11am The Liturgy of the Cross. This is the culmination of Passiontide. It is the most solemn service of the year. In it we listen to the reading of the Passion, and then watch the procession of the Cross as it is carried into the church to the High Altar. Again, as part of the 'doing' of Holy Week, we come forward to stand or kneel at the foot of the Cross and think of Jesus dying for the sins of the world. We receive Communion, not in a full 'celebration', but from the reserved sacrament from Maundy Thursday.

1.30pm A Journey Through Holy Week. A Meditation in words and music in which we follow Jesus from the time he arrives in Jerusalem for the Passover Festival to Golgotha and the Tomb. Please arrive by 1.25pm to allow a short period of quiet reflection.

3pm The Good Friday Pilgrimage. A walk starting at St. Michael's Church, Heckfield. We will make our way to Mattingley Parish Church and Rotherwick Parish Church before finishing at St. John's Church, Hook. At each church there will be a meditation. Do come along for all of the walk or meet us at one of the churches and join us for that part.

Messy Easter - Holy Saturday 23rd April

3.30 to 5pm Messy Easter. For children aged 0-11 with their parent or carer. Crafts, story, egg hunt, songs, fun and friendship. Includes a coffee and a snack.

Morning and Evening Prayer as usual.

Easter Sunday 24th April

5:30am Easter Vigil. We do not know when Jesus rose from the dead, all we know is that when the women went to the tomb on Easter morning, that the tomb was empty. We therefore celebrate at dawn on Easter Day.

If Good Friday is the most serious day, then the Easter Vigil is certainly the most splendid and joyful moment.

The New Fire is kindled in a bonfire outside. From this we light the Easter or Paschal Candle, which at St John's is carried in procession into the Church, as Christ is proclaimed as the light of the world. The ancient Resurrection hymn the Exsultet, is sung and the Resurrection is proclaimed. This is met by the ringing of bells and making as much noise as possible. Please bring bells, large or small with you, or anything which can be hit or used to make a loud noise!

We renew our baptismal vows together because baptism of christening is into the death and resurrection of Jesus. We the celebrate the Eucharist and our Risen Lord.

10am Festival Eucharist - the great celebration for the whole Church family. The celebration is marked by joy and music as we greet our risen Lord. Bells are rung at this service too, so please come prepared. There will be FireWorks worship for children upstairs in the Solar Room. Afterwards there will be a Easter Egg Hunt.