Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the holiest week of the year – the week in which we celebrate afresh the Paschal Mystery by which we are saved. We remember on Sunday Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem as the events of our salvation come to a head.
The crowd welcomed Jesus as their Messiah and broke off palm branches from the trees and strewed them in his way. We normally remember this by processing into St Benet’s church with palms in commemoration of the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem.
This year’s liturgical celebration of this must be slightly different because of COVID. There will be no procession of the people at the beginning of the Mass on Sunday as there usually is. You are asked to arrive at St Benet’s and sit down in your place as usual. You will be given a palm cross, but only the celebrant and servers will process into the sanctuary from the back of church on behalf of us all. The rest of the liturgy will then proceed as normal.
A number of other small alterations will be made this week to other liturgies in order to comply with COVID regulations and advice from diocesan authorities. There will be no watch until midnight on Maundy Thursday evening. Instead, the Blessed Sacrament will remain reserved in the tabernacle on the high altar in order to be used at the Good Friday Liturgy the next day. There will also be no children’s activities on Good Friday. In addition, the Easter Vigil which we will celebrate with our friends at All Hallows’ Gospel Oak will be significantly simplified and shortened in order to comply with COVID regulations.
Please note that we will follow our usual practice of sharing the Mass on Holy Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with All Hallows’ and St Mary Brookfield at the times listed below. This means the only Mass in the early part of Holy Week at St Benet’s is on Wednesday at the slightly earlier time than usual of 7.00 pm.
You can be assured that all the liturgies of Holy Week will be celebrated with a definite concern for meticulous compliance with government and church COVID regulations in order to ensure they are as safe as possible.
Fr Peter Anthony
HOLY WEEK SERVICES 2021
Palm Sunday 28th March 2021
11.00 am Blessing of Palms and Mass at St Benet’s Church
The liturgy will begin in St Benet’s Church and the procession of palms will be omitted this year.
Holy Monday 29th March 2021
7.00 pm Mass at St Mary Brookfield
Holy Tuesday 30th March 2021
7.00 pm Mass at All Hallows’, Gospel Oak
Holy Wednesday 31st March 2021
7.00 pm Mass at St Benet’s, Kentish Town
Maundy Thursday 1st April 2021
7.30 pm Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper at St Benet’s, Kentish Town
There will be no altar of repose or watch until midnight this year.
Good Friday 2nd April 2021
3.00 pm Liturgy of the Passion at St Benet’s, Kentish Town
There will be no children’s activities on Good Friday this year.
Holy Saturday 3rd April 2021
8.00 pm Easter Vigil at All Hallows’, Gospel Oak
Easter Day 4th April 2021
11.00 am Sung Mass at St Benet’s, Kentish Town
Easter Day will be Fr Peter’s last Sunday with us as vicar.