Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts until Easter Saturday. After Jesus had been baptised in the River Jordan He went into the desert to fast (go without food and drink) and to pray to God. Many people give up something they like (for example chocolate) to remind them that Jesus fasted for 40 days. While He was in the desert He was tempted by the Devil to save Himself but he did not submit.
Lent means lengthen. It happens at a time when spring is coming and the days are longer. Purple is the colour used in some churches at this time. Purple is associated with mourning – thinking of the coming crucifixion of Jesus -and with the royalty of Jesus.
This is the Sunday before Easter Sunday This year it is on 28th March. It is the first day of Holy Week and celebrates Jesus arriving in Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Crowds of people came out of the city to greet Him, throwing down palm branches on the road in front of Him.
Some churches give out small crosses made from palm leaves, as a reminder of Jesus’s entrance into Jerusalem and his death on the cross.
Jesus had become famous for His miracles, understanding and kindness to ALL.. He mixed with anyone – rich or poor. He healed, listened and showed compassion.
The people may have been expecting someone very different. Perhaps riding in a chariot or on a magnificent horse wearing beautiful clothes. Perhaps with many soldiers and servants.
But …He came riding on a donkey. He maybe did not look like a warrior or an earthly king. He wasn’t perhaps behaving like an earthly king might – but the people were very excited and waved palms and cheered Him.
Anglican and Roman Catholic churches give out small crosses made from palm leaves, as a reminder of Jesus’s entrance into Jerusalem and his death on the cross. Some Christians keep these in their homes all year as a symbol of their faith.
When is Easter?
The date of Easter Sunday varies from year to year. It is celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon, on or after 21 March. This year, 2021, Easter Sunday is on 4th April. The week leading up to Easter is called Holy Week.
Good Friday: The Stations of the Cross
The Stations of the Cross have formed part of Christian devotion for many centuries because they offer a particularly vivid way of following in the steps of Jesus on the way to the Cross. You can find details of them all in the bus shelter on Brookside. The Stations of the Cross have formed part of Christian devotion at Passiontide for many centuries because they enable us to engage actively with the path of suffering walked by Jesus.
When early Christians visited Jerusalem and wanted to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, tracing the path from Pilate’s house to Calvary. They would pause for prayer and devotion at various points. Many churches have representations of the Stations of the Cross on their walls.
On Maundy Thursday Christians remember when Jesus ate the Passover meal with His disciples, breaking bread and drinking wine together. Christians refer to this meal as the Last Supper. This is the Thursday before Easter Day. This year, 2021, it is on 1st April. Many Christians remember the Last Supper by sharing bread and wine together in a church service called Holy Communion, Eucharist or Mass. It is a reminder that Jesus sacrificed his life for mankind.
Good Friday is the Friday before Easter Sunday. We remembers the suffering and death of Jesus by crucifixion. There are special church services round the world. This year it is on 2nd April. Good Friday is a sad day for many. In some countries, there are special Good Friday processions, or re-enactments of the Crucifixion. Read more…
Easter Sunday marks Jesus’s resurrection. After Jesus was crucified on the Friday his body was taken down from the cross and buried in a cave tomb. The tomb was guarded by Roman soldiers and an enormous stone was put over the entrance.
On Sunday Mary Magdalene and some of Jesus’s disciples visited the tomb. They found the stone had been moved and that Jesus’s body had gone. Jesus was seen later that day by Mary and the disciples, and for forty days afterwards by many people. His followers realised that God had raised Jesus from the dead. Christians call this the resurrection. Read more….
Easter Eggs are a symbol on new life. Read more…