St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, hosted an atmospheric Maundy Thursday Service which included the washing of feet, as Jesus washed his disciples’ feet.
The Service recalled that on this night that Jesus prayed in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and was arrested. All the linen and colour were removed from the altars throughout the Cathedral, leaving everything bare and silent. The choir sang Psalm 22, the lights were gradually turned out, and the congregation left without a word in the darkness of the Cathedral.
The annual ‘Good Friday carrying of the cross walk of witness’ was held in Lisburn. The event was organised by Lisburn City Centre Ministers Fellowship comprising clergy from – First Lisburn Presbyterian, Railway Street Presbyterian, Seymour Street Methodist, St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Lisburn Cathedral, Christ Church Parish and Lisburn Christian Fellowship.
The procession gathered at the lower end of Bow Street at 12.30pm and made its way along Bow Street to the front of Lisburn Cathedral for a short act of worship. The Rev Paul Dundas (Christ Church) welcomed all who gathered, the Scripture lesson was read by Pastor George Hilary (Lisburn Christian Fellowship) and a response was given by Fr Eddie McGee (Assistant Priest at St Patrick’s), prayers were led by Canon Sam Wright (Lisburn Cathedral) and the Rev John Brackenridge (First Lisburn), and an Easter reflection was given by the Rev Mervyn Ewing (Seymour Street Methodist). Lynne Trainor accompanied by Stephen McCrea led the singing of the well known Easter hymn, ‘When I survey the wondrous cross’ and also sang the solo, ‘Amazing grace’.
The Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, was in St Patrick’s Parish Church, Ballymena, for Holy Week. On Good Friday, after the service, the congregation planted crosses in the shape of the word ‘LOVE.’
An Easter Vigil including the Lighting of the Paschal Candle and the re-affirmation of Baptismal Vows was held in St Anne’s Cathedral at 8.30pm on Easter Eve, April 4.
Please visit the Cathedral’s Photo Album of the service. Click on thumbnails for larger image.
As a fire burned outside the Cathedral doors, the congregation, holding unlit candles, gathered in the Nave. The Cathedral was in darkness except for the Nave lights.
Following a welcome from the Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev John Mann, and a reading from Genesis, the Paschal Candle was carried outside by Dr Maithrie White, an ordinand at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute.
The choir, positioned near the doors, parted, and Maithrie was followed outside by the congregation and clergy. In front of the Cathedral doors, the Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev John Mann, lit the Paschal Candle from the burning fire, and the procession moved to the Chapel of the Holy Spirit where light was passed to each individual candle and the candles on the chapel altar were also lit.
The Dean sang the Exsultet, there were further readings and prayers and the choir sang Psalm 16 and the canticle The Song of Moses and Miriam.
After silence, the congregation followed the Dean to the Baptistry where the Baptismal Vows were reaffirmed.
Following the Paschal Candle, the congregation moved to the front of the Cathedral where the Pashcal Candle was placed on its stand at the top of the chancel step. The candles at the High Altar were lit.
The service continued, with the lights coming on around the Cathedral, and prayers, song and words of thanksgiving for the Resurrection.
Members of Lisburn Cathedral, Christ Church Parish, St Paul’s Parish and First Lisburn, Railway Street and St Columba’s Presbyterian united to celebrate Christ’s resurrection at an Easter Sunday Dawn Service in Castle Gardens Lisburn.
Canon Sam Wright (Rector of Lisburn Cathedral) welcomed all who gathered for worship; Chris Lyttle (Ministry Intern at First Lisburn) gave the address; Rev Paul Dundas (Christ Church) read the Scripture lesson; Roger Thompson (Railway Street) and Vicar Simon Genoe (Lisburn Cathedral) led the prayers.
The Easter praise, led by Aaron Boyce (Lisburn Cathedral Worship Leader) and Jonny McGeown (First Lisburn Worship Leader) included, ‘Blessed be Your name’, ‘Mighty to save’ and ‘Happy day’. David Lamont was in charge of the sound.
A beautiful cross stood on the steps of St Anne’s Cathedral. The cross was made by Tom Forster, and, both adorned and unadorned, helped draw people into the Cathedral over the Easter period.
St Mary Magdelene Parish Church in Belfast also had a floral Cross on display.
Our photo album shows just some of the Easter activity in the diocese.