Holy Week & Pascha in Shrewsbury 2024

Orthodox Christian Holy Week and Pascha will be celebrated with great solemnity once again in Shrewsbury in 2024 from 27 April to 5 May. This year, we enter Holy Week with the reception of eight catechumens on Lazarus Saturday.

Below is a brief explanation of what we remember on each day of Holy Week in the lead-up to the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His victory over death.

The daily order of services is reversed during Holy Week so that we celebrate the morning services on the evening before. For example, the Matins of Holy Friday is celebrated on the evening of Holy Thursday.

Click here for the schedule of services for Holy Week in English, Greek, Romanian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Ukrainian and Russian.

Lazarus Saturday

On the Saturday before Holy Week, the Orthodox Church celebrates the miracle of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, when He raised Lazarus from the dead after he had lain in the grave for four days. Here, at the end of Great Lent and the forty days of fasting and penitence, the Church combines this celebration with that of Palm Sunday. In triumph and joy, the Church bears witness to the power of Christ over death and exalts Him as King before entering the most solemn week of the year, one that leads the faithful in remembrance of His suffering and death and concludes with the great and glorious Feast of Pascha.

Lazarus Saturday is one of the days of the year when baptisms and Chrismations occur. This year, we will receive eight catechumens into the Orthodox Church after the service of Great Vespers. All are welcome to join this joyful occasion.

Services on Lazarus Saturday

Sat, 27/49amMatins & Divine LiturgyChurch of the 318 Holy Fathers
Sat, 27/46pmVespersChurch of the 318 Holy Fathers
Sat, 27/47pmReceptions into the ChurchChurch of the 318 Holy Fathers

Palm Sunday: The Entrance of Our Lord Into Jerusalem

On the Sunday before the Feast of Great and Holy Pascha and at the beginning of Holy Week, the Orthodox Church celebrates one of its most joyous feasts of the year. Palm Sunday is the commemoration of the Entrance of our Lord into Jerusalem following His glorious miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead. Having anticipated His arrival and having heard of the miracle, the people went out to meet the Lord and welcomed Him with displays of honour and shouts of praise. On this day, we receive and worship Christ in this same manner, acknowledging Him as our King and Lord.

Instead of the thrice holy hymn (trisagion), we chant “As many as have been baptised into Christ, have put on Christ” as we celebrate the reception of the newly illumined catechumens into the Orthodox Church.

Read a song of Romanos the Melodist for the Feast of Palms

Festal Service on Palm Sunday

Sun, 28/49.30amMatins & Divine LiturgySt Julian’s Church

Services of the Bridegroom

Beginning on the evening of Palm Sunday and continuing through the evening of Holy Tuesday, the Orthodox Church observes a special service known as the Service of the Bridegroom. Each evening service is the Matins or Orthros service of the following day (e.g. the service held on Sunday evening is the Orthros service for Holy Monday). The name of the service is from the figure of the Bridegroom in the parable of the Ten Virgins found in Matthew 25:1-13.

Read more.

Services of the Bridegroom

Sun, 28/47pmMatins of Holy MondayChurch of the 318 Holy Fathers
Mon, 29/47pmMatins of Holy TuesdayChurch of the 318 Holy Fathers
Tue, 30/47pmMatins of Holy WednesdayChurch of the 318 Holy Fathers

Holy Wednesday: The Mystery of Holy Unction

On the evening of Great and Holy Wednesday, the Mystery of Holy Unction is conducted in our church. The Mystery of Holy Unction is offered for the healing of soul and body and for forgiveness of sins. At the conclusion of the service of the Mystery, the body is anointed with oil, and the grace of God, which heals infirmities of soul and body, is called down upon each person.

Read more.

Service on Holy Wednesday evening

Wed, 1/57pmMystery of Holy UnctionChurch of the 318 Holy Fathers

Holy Thursday

On Thursday of Holy Week four events are commemorated: the washing of the disciples’ feet, the institution of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, the agony in the garden of Gethsemane, and the betrayal of Christ by Judas.

Read more.

Service of the Last Supper

Thu, 2/510.30amDivine Liturgy of the Last SupperChurch of the 318 Holy Fathers

Holy Friday

On Great and Holy Friday the Orthodox Church commemorates the death of Christ on the Cross. This is the culmination of the observance of His Passion by which our Lord suffered and died for our sins. This commemoration begins on Thursday evening with the Matins of Holy Friday and concludes with a Vespers on Friday afternoon that observes the unnailing of Christ from the Cross and the placement of His body in the tomb.

Read more.

Services of the Lord’s Passion

Thu, 2/57pmMatins of Holy Friday – 12 GospelsChurch of the 318 Holy Fathers
Fri, 3/58.30amRoyal HoursChurch of the 318 Holy Fathers
Fri, 3/55.30pmVespers of the UnnailingChurch of the 318 Holy Fathers

Holy Saturday

On Great and Holy Saturday the Orthodox Church commemorates the burial of Christ and His descent into Hades. It is the day between the Crucifixion of our Lord and His glorious Resurrection. The Matins of Holy Saturday is conducted on Friday evening, and while many elements of the service represent mourning at the death and burial of Christ, the service itself is one of watchful expectation.

Read a Homily on Holy Saturday by St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Cyprus.

Burial Service and Vesperal Liturgy

Fri, 3/57pmThe Lamentation Service – Matins of Holy SaturdayChurch of the 318 Holy Fathers
Sat, 4/510amVesperal Divine LiturgyChurch of the 318 Holy Fathers

Great and Holy Pascha

On the Great and Holy Feast of Pascha, Orthodox Christians celebrate the life-giving Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. This feast of feasts is the most significant day in the life of the Church. It is a celebration of the defeat of death, as neither death itself nor the power of the grave could hold our Saviour captive. In this victory that came through the Cross, Christ broke the bondage of sin, and through faith offers us restoration, transformation, and eternal life.

Sat, 4/511.30pmMidnight OfficeSt Julian’s Church, SY1 1UH
Sun, 5/5MidnightThe Paschal Vigil and Divine LiturgySt Julian’s Church, SY1 1UH
Sun, 5/5/11amAgape Vespers Church of the 318 Holy Fathers

Our Local Saints
Copyright © 2024