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  • Seniors Minister

Holy Week

As we find ourselves physically separated in this current season we thought it would be good to post a short traditional service each week.We hope that reading through and knowing that others are also doing so will promote a sense of us still being together even though we are apart.

This Sunday is the start of Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter, and is the week during which Christians particularly remember the last week of Jesus's life and so we pray that you find it helpful to read the following liturgy, reading, short message and hymns as we remember and reflect.

Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday when we celebrate the occasion when Jesus entered Jerusalem in triumph, riding on the back of a donkey. It’s common to receive a small cross made from palm leaves and although you haven't been able to receive one from the church this year, you may like to find a creative way of making your own. Maundy Thursday is the day before Good Friday when Christians remember the Last Supper. Jesus told the disciples about his death, using bread and wine to symbolise his sacrifice on the Cross. Good Friday is the day that we remember the crucifixion of Jesus.

You may like to sing the included hymns or say them out loud. If you have a CD of hymns you could choose your own or you could search for the suggested hymns on the internet as you are bound to find a video version to listen to or sing with.

Please do let us know if you have found this helpful, add suggestions or hymn requests by using the comment box.

At the end of this service you will find a listing for traditional church services on television and radio which you may like to watch or listen to this Easter.

But above all, we hope and pray that you know God’s peace, hope and comfort as we come together as God’s family this Holy Week.

Polly Andrews, Seniors Minister at Holy Trinity (07914 871417)

James Bradby from St Michael’s Monkton Combe (01225 722700)

Many thanks to Susannah Padiachy from St Michael’s Monkton Combe for this week’s ‘sermon’


Shout for joy you people of Jerusalem;

Look, your King is coming to you.

He is coming triumphant and victorious.

Humble and riding on a donkey.

Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.


Hosanna to the Son of David.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Behold your king comes to you, O Zion,

meek and lowly, sitting upon an ass.

Ride on in the cause of truth

and for the sake of justice.

Your throne is the throne of God, it endures for ever;

and the sceptre of your kingdom is a righteous sceptre.

You have loved righteousness and hated evil:

therefore God, your God, has anointed you

with the oil of gladness above your fellows.

Hosanna to the Son of David.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hymn - Rejoice, the Lord is King!

1 Rejoice, the Lord is King! your Lord and King adore;

mortals give thanks and sing, and triumph evermore;

Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;

rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

2 Jesus, the saviour, reigns, the God of truth and love;

when he had purged our stains he took his seat above;

Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;

Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

3 His kingdom cannot fail, he rules both earth and heaven,

the keys of death and hell are to our Jesus given;

Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;

Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

4 He sits at God's right hand till all his foes submit,

and bow to his command, and fall beneath his feet:

Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;

Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

5 Rejoice in glorious hope! Jesus the Judge shall come,

and take his servants up to their eternal home.

We soon shall hear the archangel's voice;

God's trumpet call shall sound, rejoice!


Dear Father God,

Thank you that Jesus has opened the Gateway into your perfect kingdom.

He is the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

We are sorry for the times we have closed the door to Jesus and refused him entry into our lives: times when we have chosen hate not love, lies not truth, greed not generosity.

Please forgive us and help us to open our hearts to Jesus at the beginning of each day.

Help us as a church to show our community what your kingdom is like.

We praise you that you always keep your promises.

Help us to be ready for the promised return of Jesus when he will establish your everlasting kingdom on this earth and makes all things new.


Matthew 21:1-11 New International Version (NIV)

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion,

‘See, your king comes to you,

gentle and riding on a donkey,

and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Great Expectations

Anyone feeling out of control? Uncertainty about the future? Or is it just me?!

A friend of mine has inoperable liver cancer. She is younger than me and has 4 children. She said this to me recently “The more I feel out of control about the future, the more I throw myself onto God.”

I found this comment to be like gold. In times of such uncertainty over the future, I have felt challenged to use every time I feel a wave of fear overwhelm me as a moment to seek God or return to God or cry out to God as never before.

We may not know the future, but God does. We may not know what to expect, but He does. Nothing surprises Him. He promises to bring us good when we trust Him.

As Palm Sunday comes around again, the account of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is so familiar to us. Jerusalem 2000+ years ago may feel far removed from the strange context in which we find ourselves today. Yet as I studied it, I found God speaks with great power to what we’re living through. In fact, never have the events of Palm Sunday and the week that followed felt so relevant… the week that changed history can change how we deal with things today. So let’s have a look at Matthew 21:1-11.

Matthews account draws us to Jerusalem, where the crowds are gathered to see the new king who will be enthroned. It is Passover week so the place is heaving (no social distancing here). As Jesus enters Jerusalem the whole city asks, “Who is this?” (v10) And it’s a very good question to ask, as the crowds and the disciples did not know who to expect.

Many had great expectations of a dazzling display of military power, their conquering king finally coming to defeat the Romans. And yet when the king arrives, its not on a war horse with chariots, but a humble donkey.

Many were expecting the long-awaited Messiah fulfilling Zechariah’s prophecy (v9) but did they did not grasp what this Messiah had come to do. Understand what this would mean for the future - it did not take them long for their cries of praise to turn to cries for his crucifixion.

The disciples too did not yet understand what would happen. Despite Jesus making it very clear to them in the previous chapter, explaining exactly how things would play out. We are going to Jerusalem and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief Priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day, he will be raised to life.”

We see from these words that Jesus knew exactly what was going to happen. From the specific instructions about where to find the donkey, choosing the donkey as his mode of transport to knowing how his enemies would react. He knows exactly what to expect and that is absolutely in control of everything that happens.And if He knew what to expect and was in control then, He knows what will happen and is in control now.

When I try and control the future with my own expectations or worries, it never helps! So why do I do it when God’s plan and deliverance always exceeds our expectations? As we see from this passage, God’s plan of deliverance far exceeds our human understanding or anything we could design ourselves. I am so grateful that God knows far better than I do what His purposes are!

So in this time we do not know what to expect, let’s not lose sight of the things we can expect from the promises God makes us in His word. We live in this fallen world in bondage to decay, so we can expect suffering. The Bible makes this clear. But God does not leave it there. He makes us some very precious promises about our times of suffering as we trust Him.

- He is with us (Isaiah 43v1-5). It’s important to see from this passage in Matt 11 that Jesus knew exactly what awaited him and he chose suffering. He chose to suffer, to be mocked, spat at, humiliated, betrayed, chose the agony of the cross and the darkness as Gods anger at my sin engulfed Him. He chose to take this upon himself, to rescue you and me. So that we can be sure, that whatever we face, He knows our pain and is with us. No matter where we’ve been or what we’ve done or what we face nothing can separate us from the love of God that is ours in Christ. (Rom 8v31-39)

- He knows what he is doing. Like the disciples and the crowds, we may look at our circumstances and feel confused or disheartened. So if we are tempted to do this,

let us look up to God who knows exactly what He is doing. He promises to bring good to us as we trust Him (Rom 8v28). His deliverance will always exceed our expectations!

- We will grow. As Shawn said in his message last week, it is so often in times of suffering that we grow the most. That we change the most as we choose to grow in trust and closeness to God, He will make us more like His son. The friend I mentioned with cancer, I can tell you is in that the midst of great suffering, she shines. She is one of the people I love speaking to the most as she radiates Jesus. Her life is built on the solid truth that God is good and He is in control.

- We can hold onto our hope. We know that the message of Easter brings us real hope that Jesus has conquered the grave and we do not need to fear death. We can look forward with great expectation to what lies ahead for us in heaven with Jesus in the future but also in the here and now.

- We can speak of that hope to our friends who are suffering and afraid. Let us be prepared to give a reason for the hope we have as that hope is founded on the events of this week ahead.

- We can persevere–with joy! As Jesus did. Let us not forget that what took him to face the shame of the cross, to face unimaginable suffering it held– it was the JOY set before him of our redemption and all that the future held for us (Hebrews 12v2) .

We do not know the future, but we can know the God who does. We may not know what to expect, but He does. We do face uncertain times, but we do not do so alone. So let’s spend more time with God rather than our worries. He promises to bring us good when we trust Him. As we reflect on Palm Sunday this year, may we reflect on what it meant for our God to choose to suffer for us so that we can know him, cry out to him and draw close to him in our time of suffering, trusting in his promises of hope and help in our weakness.

Therefore, since we have a great High priest who has ascended into heaven…let us hold firmly to the hope we profess. For we do not have a high priest who does not empathise with us in our weakness, but one who has been tempted in every way just as we are yet did not sin. Let us then approach Gods throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” Hebrews 4v16

Hymn - The Old Rugged Cross

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross

The emblem of suffering and shame

And I love that old cross where the dearest and best

For a world of lost sinners was slain

So I'll cherish the old rugged cross

Till my trophies at last I lay down

And I will cling to the old rugged cross

And exchange it some day for a crown

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true

It's shame and reproach gladly bear

Then he'll call me someday to my home far away

Where his glory forever I'll share

And I'll cherish the old rugged cross

Till my trophies at last I lay down

And I will cling to the old rugged cross

And exchange it some day for a crown

As we say the Creed, we join Christians past and present, and from all over the world, in proclaiming our common faith.

I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried;

he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again;

he ascended into heaven,

he is seated at the right hand of the Father,

and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.



Lord Jesus, we praise you for your redeeming love and all you have done for us. As we bow in gratitude before the cross we gratefully acknowledge the debt we owe. For ours was the sin you bore, ours the ransom you paid, yours was the victory over Satan, and ours the salvation you won. Lord Jesus accept our thanks and help us to live worthy of your love, for your love’s sake.


Gracious God, give skill, sympathy and resilience to all who are caring for the sick, and your wisdom to those searching for a cure for the coronavirus. Strengthen them with your Spirit, that through their work many will be restored to health; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


God of compassion, be close to those who are ill, afraid or in isolation. In their loneliness, be their consolation; in their anxiety, be their hope; in their darkness, be their light; through him who suffered alone on the cross, but reigns with you in glory.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen

Let us pray to God, who alone makes us dwell in safety for all who are affected by coronavirus, through illness or isolation or anxiety, that they may find relief and recovery. For those who are guiding our nation at this time, and shaping national policies, that they may make wise decisions: Lord, graciously hear us. For the vulnerable and the fearful, for the gravely ill and the dying, that they may know your comfort and peace: We commend ourselves, and all for whom we pray, to the mercy and protection of God.


The Collect for Aid against all Perils from the Book of Common Prayer

Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Our Father in Heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins,

as we forgive those who sin

against us.

Lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen

Hymn - When I survey the wondrous cross

When I survey the wondrous cross

Oh which the Prince of glory died

My richest gain I count but loss

And pour contempt on all my pride

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,

Save in the death of Christ my God

All the vain things that charm me most,

I sacrifice them to His blood

See from his dead, his hands,

His feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down!

Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,

Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Where the whole realm of nature mine,

That were a present far too small,

Love so amazing, so divine,

Demands my soul, my fire, my all


May the blessing of God Almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.


Traditional Church Services on Television and Radio

There is a weekly service on Radio 4 (FM) every Sunday at 8.10am

There is a daily service on Radio 4 (LM) every morning at 9.45am.

Bells on a Sunday (the sound of church bells ringing on Sunday from around the country)

5.43am (!) Radio 4 (FM)

BBC One broadcasts Songs of Praise every Sunday at 1.15pm.

Premier Christian Radio broadcasts Bible studies at intervals throughout the day. You need a digital radio (DAB) for listen to Premier Christian Radio – let Polly know if you would like to borrow one. At noon and at 2.30pm they have “worship hours” which include worship songs, prayer and Bible readings.

For Holy Week

Good Friday Meditation

BBC Radio 4 - Friday 10 April, 3-3.30pm

At The Foot of The Cross

BBC Radio 2 - Friday 10 April, 8-10pm

An assortment of spiritual and traditional music

Easter Sunday Worship

BBC Radio 4 - Sunday 12 April, 8.10-9am

In a spiritual gathering across the nation, Radio 4 broadcasts a specially compiled service to celebrate the joyful story of Easter resurrection with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby

Words and Music

BBC Radio 3 - Sunday 12 April, 5.30-6.45pm

An Easter Sunday special celebration of music, prose and poetry


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