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Holy Week 2021

Easter Eve (3 April)

Today is often known as “Holy Saturday” as we wait in expectation for the celebration of the Resurrection at Easter.

Easter itself begins this evening with the Easter Liturgy, the climax of Holy Week – a pre-recorded service from St Margaret’s, but this year including spoken and musical contributions from St Giles’ as well.

Online

9:00am Morning Prayer

From Common Worship: Daily Prayer. No order of service required – the text will be displayed onscreen.


Stations of the Cross

This set of meditations was recorded yesterday, but if you have not seen them yet, you may find them helpful on Holy Saturday.


SAMS Easter Craft

Join Eva for an Easter craft activity:


5:30pm Evening Prayer

From Common Worship: Daily Prayer. No order of service required – the text will be displayed onscreen.


8:00pm The Easter Liturgy

The principal celebration of Easter and the climax of the Church’s year. This year it is a joint celebration of St Margaret’s and St Giles’.


To see what is coming up for the rest of Holy Week, take a look at our overview:

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Holy Week 2021

Good Friday (2 April)

Today we remember Christ’s ultimate sacrifice for us on the cross.

Online

7:30am Morning Prayer

From Common Worship: Daily Prayer. No order of service required – the text will be displayed onscreen.


10:30am Mattins with the Litany

The traditional St Giles’ Good Friday service, broadcast live from the church, drawn from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer

If you missed it, you can watch it here:


1:30pm Solemn Liturgy of Good Friday

The Liturgy of Good Friday is broadcast live from St Margaret’s Church, and includes an address from our Holy Week preacher, Fr Charlie Annis nCR.

If you missed the live broadcast, you can watch it below:


5:30pm Evening Prayer

From Common Worship: Daily Prayer. No order of service required – the text will be displayed onscreen.


6:00pm Stations of the Cross

A quiet contemplative reflection using the traditional stations of the cross.

The stations will be available from this time, and all through Holy Saturday tomorrow, for you to use at a time that is convenient.

Watch the stations at St Giles’ YouTube channel from 6pm:


To see what is coming up for the rest of Holy Week, take a look at our overview:

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Holy Week 2021

Maundy Thursday (1 April)

The Triduum – the three most holy days – begins on Thursday evening, marked by a live broadcast Eucharist from St Margaret’s Church at 8pm.

Online

7:30am Morning Prayer

From Common Worship: Daily Prayer. No order of service required – the text will be displayed onscreen.


5:30pm Evening Prayer

From Common Worship: Daily Prayer. No order of service required – the text will be displayed onscreen.


8:00pm Liturgy of Maundy Thursday

A live broadcast of the Maundy Thursday Eucharist from St Margaret’s Church, including a homily from our guest preacher, Fr Charlie Annis nCR.

If you missed the service, you can watch it below (it is followed by approximately one hour of the watch).


In person

St Margaret’s Church will be open for the Maundy Thursday Watch after the service, if you would like to pray at the altar of repose before the blessed sacrament between 9pm and midnight.

Please let Daniel know if this is something you would like to do.

Also, our small (6 attendees maximum) services of Holy Communion continue on Maundy Thursday at both St Giles’ and St Margaret’s.

For service times, details and how to book, please see our “Holy Week In-Person” page:


To see what is coming up for the rest of Holy Week, take a look at our overview:

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Holy Week 2021

Wednesday of Holy Week (31 March)

On Wednesday we have our first opportunity to meet our guest speaker, Fr Charlie, on Zoom from 8pm, as well as the third of his Evening Prayer addresses. Read on for more…

Online

7:30am Morning Prayer

From Common Worship: Daily Prayer. No order of service required – the text will be displayed onscreen.


5:30pm Evening Prayer with address

From St Giles’ Church, with an address from our guest speaker, Fr Charlie nCR.

To watch the service, please visit the St Giles’ Church YouTube channel from 5:30pm this evening:

(Note that this will remain available to view afterwards, if you are unavailable to watch when it is first broadcast).


8:00pm Zoom discussion with Fr Charlie

A chance to discuss the themes and ideas that have arisen from Fr Charlie’s Holy Week addresses so far (don’t worry if you haven’t had chance to watch all of them yet!).

If you would like to attend and have not had the Zoom invite link yet, please e-mail Daniel (dgtwalters@outlook.com).


In person

Our small (6 attendees maximum) services of Holy Communion continue throughout Holy Week at both St Giles’ and St Margaret’s.

For service times, details and how to book (which is essential for anyone who would like to attend), please see our “Holy Week In-Person” page:


To see what is coming up for the rest of Holy Week, take a look at our overview:

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Holy Week 2021

Tuesday of Holy Week (30 March)

Our principal event on Tuesday is again our Evening Prayer with address from our guest speaker, Fr Charlie. Read on for more…

Online

7:30am Morning Prayer

From Common Worship: Daily Prayer. No order of service required – the text will be displayed onscreen.


5:30pm Evening Prayer with address

From St Giles’ Church, with an address from our guest speaker, Fr Charlie nCR.

To watch the service, please visit the St Giles’ Church YouTube channel from 5:30pm this evening:

(Note that this will remain available to view afterwards, if you are unavailable to watch when it is first broadcast).


In person

Because there were no pre-bookings for Tuesday, there will be no in-person services on that day.

However, our small (6 attendees maximum) services of Holy Communion will continue throughout Holy Week at both St Giles’ and St Margaret’s.

For service times, details and how to book (which is essential for anyone who would like to attend), please see our “Holy Week In-Person” page:


To see what is coming up for the rest of Holy Week, take a look at our overview:

Categories
Holy Week 2021

Monday of Holy Week (29 March)

Our principal event on Monday is our Evening Prayer with address from our guest speaker, Fr Charlie. Read on for more…

Online

7:30am Morning Prayer

From Common Worship: Daily Prayer. No order of service required – the text will be displayed onscreen.


5:30pm Evening Prayer with address

From St Giles’ Church, with an address from our guest speaker, Fr Charlie nCR.

You can watch the service below:


8:00pm Compline

Via Zoom – please contact Sian Gronlie if you would like to take part.


In person

Because there are no pre-bookings for Monday, there will be no in-person services on that day.

However, our small (6 attendees maximum) services of Holy Communion will continue throughout Holy Week at both St Giles’ and St Margaret’s.

For service times, details and how to book, please see our “Holy Week In-Person” page:


To see what is coming up for the rest of Holy Week, take a look at our overview:

Categories
Holy Week 2021

Palm Sunday (28 March)

Please see below for opportunities to participate in Holy Week on Palm Sunday, both online and in-person.

In person

Our small (6 attendees maximum) services of Holy Communion throughout Holy Week begin on Palm Sunday at both St Giles’ and St Margaret’s.

For service times, details and how to book, please see our “Holy Week In-Person” page (please note that pre-booking is required, and services will only take place where there are bookings):


Online

7:30am Morning Prayer

From Common Worship: Daily Prayer. No order of service required – the text will be displayed onscreen.


10:30am Liturgy of Palm Sunday

This is the principal service for Palm Sunday, and is pre-recorded this year.

As always, this a special joint benefice service, this year beginning at St Giles’ and moving to St Margaret’s.


3:00pm Teen Discussion

Our guest speaker, Fr Charlie will join us via Zoom to chat to young people about his vocation. We’ll be exploring what it means to be a young person in our church communities and in the wider Church of England.

This event is open to all our teens (13-18 years old) from across the benefice. Please contact Eva for more details and to request an invite: eva@stmargaretsoxford.org


CANCELLED: 6:00pm BCP Evening Prayer

Unfortunately this service has had to be cancelled at short notice.


6:30pm Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater

A live-streamed liturgical concert from St Giles’ Church.


To see what is coming up for the rest of Holy Week, take a look at our overview:

Categories
Holy Week 2021

Holy Week details now available

The details for our joint benefice Holy Week programme, both online and in-person, are now available from this website – either use the menu at the top or the button below:

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Autumn 2020 reflections Reflections

Week 10: John 1:14

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
John 1:14

By Revd Canon Andrew Bunch

Throughout my life, Christmas has been one of the highlights of the year, particularly when I was a child. Was it the festive church services that made it all so special? Well, if I am totally honest, I think the answer would be no, not really. It was the family atmosphere, the special food and the Christmas cake, but most especially waking up on Christmas morning and wondering what presents there were to be unwrapped. Yes, the day was full of expectation, joy, and family love. Going to church was part of this celebration, but it was the physical reality of the secular celebration that made the day really special.

Now you might find that a shocking admission from someone who is/ was your parish priest and was brought up in a vicarage household. It might sound as if it was a betrayal of the centrality of the Christian Gospel in the shaping of our lives. But I just wonder if this degree of honesty is actually a call to strip away some of the sideshows of what we take as the Christian Gospel and discover the real significance of Christmas for our lives.

Just take a step back and ask a few questions about what is recorded about the birth of Jesus in the Gospels. First, the details of the birth of Jesus are not recorded in either the Gospel of Mark or in John. These two Gospel writers didn’t think it was either important enough to record or the details had not been remembered by them. The name of Jesus’ earthly father is not noted by Mark and John doesn’t mention the name of Jesus’ mother. So, in two of the Gospels the birth and early years of Jesus’ life are not seen as being particularly significant to the Gospel to be communicated.

It is true that both Matthew and Luke name both Jesus’ earthly father and mother and both give an account of his birth, but there are some major differences between the two accounts. The way the two Gospels handle the material around Jesus’ birth indicate a considerable overlay of theology built up around Jesus’ birth. In Matthew there is a desire to show Jesus’ birth is special in nature but also rooted in the past associated with the people of Israel. In Luke, Jesus’ birth is also seen as miraculous, but two themes seem to shape the story; namely the failure of the established leaders of the nation’s religion to be able to believe the word of God in action (Zechariah not believing the angel in the Holy of Holies) and the reconciliation of past hurts as Simeon greets Jesus, Joseph’s son (recall the enmity between Joseph and Simeon  in Genesis 42). Both Matthew and Luke see something very special is associated with the birth of Jesus, but it seems in all four Gospels it is not the details of Jesus’ birth that are of primary importance and needs to be celebrated, it is something much greater than this.

I believe the that primary importance of the Christmas celebration is neatly captured in the words of John… “The word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us and we beheld his glory, the Glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth”. This is the heart of our faith about the birth of Jesus, that his very presence and life display the nature and love of God in material form. So rather than scoff and make tut-tutting noises about the secular Christmas celebrations, maybe we should recognise they have a point. At Christmas, maybe we should look around afresh at this material world and stop and wonder. For it is the love and glory that we experience in a physical form in this material world, that we see the nature of God most fully. It is God’s creation, and it is his gift to us.

Jesus’ life and witness demonstrate how wonderful and beautiful this world can be when we open our eyes to see God’s glory and grace in his creation. Yes, let’s give thanks for the opening of our eyes to this truth and make the celebration of Christmas something which is truly glorious and inclusive. In this way, maybe we are on the point of recognising God’s presence more fully in the midst of his most wonderful creation that he has given us to enjoy.

If you would like to receive an email each day this week with a new “thought for the day” related to this reflection, please sign up below:

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Autumn 2020 reflections Reflections

Week 9: John 20:19-23

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’
John 20:19-23

By Revd Daniel Walters

“Fear”, a wise spiritual teacher once said, “is the path to the dark side”.

Okay, it was a fictional green alien spiritual teacher from Star Wars, but the point still stands. We don’t generally think of fear as being a moral weakness, but as a legitimate emotional response to a dangerous situation. Indeed, if humans literally had no fear, then we would not have survived for as long as we have!

But, famously, the Biblical injunction to “not be afraid” is the most frequent instruction given to believers, in both the Old and New Testaments. It may not be spoken 365 times as is sometimes claimed, but we are certainly talking triple figures, especially if we include similar phrases.

In this case, however, when Jesus appears to the apostles for the first time after the resurrection – huddled as they were in a locked room, terrified of the religious authorities – Jesus does not tell them to “not be afraid”. Instead he says something far more profound: he says “peace be with you”.

Being at peace is something far deeper than a simple lack of fear. It is a lifetime’s work of being truly able to accept oneself and those around us. To see both ourselves and others, and the whole created order, as truly creatures of God, loved unconditionally by him.

I suspect that’s something few of us will ever fully achieve in this life (I know I certainly have a long way to go!), but the fleeting glimpses we may receive are precious gifts that stay with us.

Yet just as Jesus offers this gift of peace to his disciples, to his friends, he gives them something which perhaps should strike them with fear: he sends them out, just as he was sent by his heavenly Father. He compares their mission here on Earth, which is about to begin, to his own which is coming to an end.

And what is their mission? To forgive the sins of others. To make it known to all that the poor choices they have made, the destructive habits which they have adopted, are not what defines them. What does define them, what gives them value is the fact that they are beloved children of God.

What a responsibility for the disciples! To not be afraid of this awesome charge would suggest a big dose of humility is needed. And yet, this is the very mission of the community of God: the Church.

In John’s Gospel, it is perhaps here that the Church is born, formed around this mission of peace through forgiveness. A mission that is beyond any of us, but not beyond God’s Holy Spirit, working in us and through us – and sometimes, even despite us.

May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep all of our hearts and minds in the knowledge of his love and his forgiveness this Advent and Christmas. Amen.

If you would like to be notified by email each Saturday when a new weekly reflection is posted, please make sure you are subscribed to the “prayer & faith” emails from St Giles’ (click here) or St Margaret’s (click here).

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