A Refashioned Observance of Holy Week and Easter

Worship shifted online to comply with physical distancing requirements

Posted April 1, 2020

the CrossThe journey through Holy Week and Easter will look different this year. 

"Lots of about our liturgical practice is being transformed by our present circumstances, by necessity," says Bishop Susan Bell, "but here's the thing: God is still here with us, leading us, guiding us."

The suspension of all public worship services means that the Church's sacred observances and celebrations are shifting online for this liturgical year, to livestreams and pre-recorded videos and podcasts. 

"Our clergy and lay leaders are creatively adapting their past parish patterns to reimagine what the observance of holy week and celebration of Easter look like in a physically-distanced and digital context of church," observed the Bishop. "As a diocese, we're doing the same, and I'm particularly delighted that our primate, Archbishop Linda Nicholls, will be preaching the Good News of the Resurrection for our diocesan Easter service."

Bishop Bell will be leading the following diocesan services of the Word:

  • April 5 - Palm Sunday: Livestreamed on Facebook at 10am and posted on YouTube by 2pm.
  • April 9 - Maundy Thursday: Livestreamed on Facebook at 7pm and posted on YouTube by 9pm.
  • April 10 - Good Friday: A multi-voice worship service will be posted at 9am on Facebook and YouTube.
  • April 12 - Easter: Livestreamed from Christ's Church Cathedral on Facebook and YouTube at 10am, with a homily by the Most Reverend Linda Nicholls. 

"We will make our pilgrimage from the glory of the palms to the glory of the resurrection by way of the dark road of suffering and death, in a way that is perhaps unfamiliar, but one which will carry with it all the meaning and hope we are accustomed to in ordinary times," says Bishop Bell.

Orders of service will be posted on our online diocesan COVID-19 resource hub in advance of each service, and homilies will be posted afterwards. 

"I know we're all mourning the temporary loss of sacramental practices and traditions, particularly at this most sacred time of year, which is hard and its a sacrifice," acknowledged Bishop Bell. "However, it is one worth bearing for the greater good of our whole society as well as the people within our care of souls."