Holy Week 2020

Hosted by: St Michael's Church and Choir

Owing to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Epidemic, all PUBLIC WORSHIP is CANCELLED and all CHURCHES CLOSED until further notice.

Although ALL SERVICES are CANCELLED, this page is here to remind you what would have been on; to give you a framework for personal prayer and observance of Holy Week.

This will be hard for strongly liturgical churches like St Michael’s, where we normally share in the drama of our Lord’s Passion together We will provide what resources we can through website, facebook, twitter & emailed Pewsheets.

Holy Week is the hardest but most rewarding time of the Christian Year, especially when we share and observe it together as unworthy but faithful disciples.  We walk with Jesus from Adulation, through Companionship, Betrayal, Suffering and Acceptance to Resurrection; a real emotional roller-coaster, to use the current parlance.  Please join us as often or occasionally as you are able.

Sunday 5th April, Palm Sunday, 10.30am (N.B. earlier start) Sung Mass with Blessing and Procession of Palms. Sung Passion Gospel. Mass in Dorian mode & Verily, verily I say unto you, both by Tallis.

6pm Palm Sunday Choral Evensong & Benediction. Byrd Responses. Gibbons Short Service Canticles. Anthem: Solus ad victimam, Keneth Leighton.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCfyVmPbZ9s

Tuesday in Holy Week, 6pm, Plainsong Vespers and Meditation.  Choir Practice, 7-8.30pm. ALSO CANCELLED

Spy Wednesday, 8th April, Angelus & BCP Morning Prayer at 9.30am, from the Vicarage on “Friends of St Michael’s” Facebook page.

Wednesday 8th April at 7pm CANCELLED, Spy Wednesday when Judas arranged to betray Jesus, the traditional 14 Stations of the Cross are prayed, with the singing of the devotional poem Stabat Mater Dolorosa.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gz9o-wF7RoU

Maundy Thursday, 9th April, 6pm, Plainsong Vespers and Meditation. Start of the three day Holy TRIDUUM.  Sadly all Services CANCELLED

Maundy Thursday, 9th April, Sung Mass at 7.30pm. We especially remember Jesus and his Disciples in the Upper Room, the Foot-washing, how the Last Supper became the First Holy Communion, the words of Jesus to his followers, and the Betrayal.

The Mass Setting is Missa Brevis by Lotti, and the Anthems are “Ubi caritas et amor Deus ibi est” by the contemporary composer Paul Mealor and “Ave verum corpus” by Byrd.

At the end of the service, the High Altar is stripped, the Blessed Sacrament carried to the Altar of Repose in the Lady Chapel, and the Watch is kept there through the night recalling Christ and his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane and then before Pontius Pilate.

Friday 10th April at 10.30am, Good Friday Liturgy. Reproaches, by former St Michael’s member, Chris Upton. Veneration of the Cross. Crux Fidelis, attr. King John IV of Portugal.

Crux fidelis, inter omnes arbor una nobilis: nulla silva talem profert, fronde, flore, germine.
Dulce lignum, dulces clavos, dulce pondus sustinet.

Faithful Cross, among all, the one noble tree; no other forest offers such leaf, flower and seed. Sweet the wood, sweet the nails, sweet the weight it bears.

Part of a 6th century hymn by Venantius Fortunatus written for the procession that brought a part of the true Cross to the Frankish Queen Radegunda in 570. Interestingly, she is a patron saint of Jesus College, Cambridge, which was founded on the site of the 12th century Nunnery, and has a chapel in Exeter Cathedral named after her.

Although King John IV of Portugal (1604-1656) was an accomplished musician and composer, the Crux fidelis attributed to him cannot be traced to earlier than mid-19th century France. His extensive library was destroyed with much else in the tragic Lisbon earthquake of 1755.

Good Friday, 8pm, Tenebrae. An ancient service sung in Latin and English from the West Gallery to plainsong and polyphony by Lassus (1532-1594) and Palestrina (1525-1594), ending in darkness and silence to symbolise Jesus’ descent to the dead. Here is a link to a recording of Tenebrae in 2008.

Saturday 11th April, Holy Saturday 8pm – The Easter Vigil. We kindle the New Light, prepare and bless the Paschal Candles for St Michael’s, hear the Exsultet, the proclamation of Christ’s Resurrection, and renew our Baptismal Vows. This Service ends about 9.40pm. On Current Guidance there will be NO Bring&Share, Sweet or Savoury, Buffet Party this year.
Setting: Mass in C&F by Charles Villiers Stanford. Anthem: Unicorni captivator by Ola Geilo. Since by Man came death… from Handel’s Messiah.

Out of the Stillness,a poem by Jonathan Draper, former Dean of Exeter.

Out of the stillness of dark before dawn,
In the still and the quiet and the damp of the night,
The morning star glimmers alone in the sky:
Signal of day, herald of light.

Deep in the stillness of anguish and fear
Lie hopes that were shattered by death and by doubt,
The husk of a dream lies empty and crushed,
Mind seeks for meaning, heart flickers out.

Out of the stillness the dawn comes again
Darkness is vanquished and hope is renewed
The sun has arisen, never to set,
A new day is dawning with heaven suffused.

Death with its terrors at last overcome
By one burst of light, by one gift of love.
Wholeness and healing and hope in his arms,
The sun has arisen with life for the world.

Easter Garden

Easter Sunday, 12th April at 11am.  Festal Sung Mass and Blessing of the Easter Garden.
All at St Michael’s wish you a Happy and Blessed Easter. Christ is Risen; He is risen indeed!
Setting: Missa Brevis in D, W A Mozart or Mass in E by Darke..
Motet: Easter Anthem, Billings.


St Michael and All Angels’ Church, Dinham Road, Mount Dinham, Exeter, EX4 4EB