Easter Holy Week Services 10 - 17 April

Tuesday 15 March 2022

Waiapu Cathedral invites people to join with the world-wide Christian church in the celebration of Holy Week leading up to Easter Day. 


This year Holy Week happens through 10 – 17 April and commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and celebrates his resurrection.  This is an ancient festival as it was first recorded in the 2nd Century AD, at the end of Lent.


We welcome everyone into the Cathedral to share these special services during this season of Christian joy, renewal and rebirth.


Key dates – all welcome:

Palm Sunday, 10 April – 10am starting at the fountain park, a Eucharist service commemorating the entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem; 5 pm Evensong which will include Prayers for Ukraine and its people.


Tuesday 12 April – 10 am, Eucharist service with renewal of ordination vows by priests and the blessing of holy oils.


Maundy Thursday, 14 April – 7 pm, commemorates the washing of feet and the last supper of Jesus with the apostles.


Good Friday, 15 April – 12 noon – 1 pm Stations of the Cross pilgrimage; 1 – 2 pm service with Cathedral Choir singing John Stainer’s oratorio The  Crucifixion: A Meditation on the Sacred Passion of the Holy Redeemer; 2 – 3 pm The Way of the Cross, guided meditation and prayer.


Holy Saturday,  16 April  –  7 pm the Easter Eve Vigil. The Service of Light ends the Lenten season and begins with the lighting of the Paschal Candle outside the Cathedral.


Easter Day – Sunday  17 April –  9 am Ormond Chapel, family eucharist service; 10 am Cathedral, special  Eucharist service with Bishop Andrew Hedge presiding and Canon Jenny Chalmers preaching, choral music by the choir and Cathedral Strings, and a baptism.


Covid measures in place: face masks need to be worn inside the church and vaccine passes need to be shown as you enter the Cathedral.


Read more about these services and their traditions

Palm Sunday,  10 April – 10 am; Evensong – 5 pm

A favourite family service.  Our congregation meets outside the Cathedral by the fountain before making a procession into the building for the Eucharist service, while singing and playing instruments such as trumpets, flutes and guitars.  This tradition commemorates the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, and palm fronds and small crosses made from fronds are distributed to represent the branches which the crowd scattered in front of Christ as he rode into the city.  At 5pm a traditional Evensong  service will be held.


Tuesday  12 April – 10 am

The Holy Eucharist will be celebrated by Bishop Andrew Hedge with priests and deacons from around the diocese.  The priest will renew their ordination vows, and bless holy oils, which will be distributed to parishes of the diocese for their use.  Everyone is welcome to be part of this service.

Fifth day of Holy Week, Thursday 14 April – 7 pm 

Known as Maundy Thursday, this traditional service commemorates the washing of the feet and Last Supper of Jesus with the apostles, as described in the Gospels. The word Maundy comes from the Latin ‘mandatum’ meaning ‘command’, which refers to the instructions Jesus gave his disciples at the Last Supper. At the end of this service all sacred and special things – crosses, prayer books, candlesticks and altar cloths – are removed from the church because the next day is Good Friday, a day of ‘no hope’ when the church is empty of ornamentation..

Good Friday,  15 April  

This is a very important and solemn day, as we remember the Crucifixion of Christ. 

12.00 – 1.00 pm You are invited to make a spiritual pilgrimage through the Stations of the Cross, a series of 14 paintings placed on the pillars of the cathedral.  They depict Jesus on the day of his crucifixion, and prayers or reflections are said at each of the Stations. The  Stations grew out of imitations of the Via Dolorosa (the way or path of sorrow) in Jerusalem, which is a traditional processional route symbolising the path Jesus walked to his death at Mount Calvary.

1.00 – 2.00 pm The Cathedral Choir sings John Stainer’s oratorio The Crucifixion: A Meditation on the Sacred Passion of the Holy Redeemer.   Stainer composed this work in 1887; it features solo and choral passages and five hymns for congregational participation.

2.00 – 3.00 pm The Way of the Cross, a time of guided meditation and prayer when we reflect on the needs of the world.

Holy Saturday, 16 April – 7 pm

The Easter Eve Vigil commences at 7.00pm. The Service of Light ends the Lenten season.  It traditionally begins in silence outside the Cathedral where a new fire is kindled and each member of the congregation is given a candle; a greeting, opening prayer and lighting of the Paschal Candle from the new fire takes place. The candle is triumphantly paraded into the dark church where the age-old exultet is sung, the bells are rung and the church is filled with light and hope. This Pascal Candle is a symbol of Christ rising from the dead and reminds us of the light of Christ’s resurrection overcoming the darkness of the tomb.


Easter Day, Sunday 17 April – 10 am Cathedral; 9 am Ormond Chapel

In the Cathedral we celebrate Christ’s resurrection, rising from death, with a very special  Eucharist service.  Bishop Andrew Hedge will preside, and Canon Jenny Chalmers will preach, this service features beautiful music by the Cathedral Choir and the Cathedral Strings.  This service marks the beginning of a period in which the joy created on Easter Day is sustained through the following seven weeks as the Church celebrates the risen Christ. And following tradition – there will be a baptism of a baby during the service.

Before this, at  9 am at Ormond Chapel on Napier Terrace a special Easter Day family Eucharist service will be held for those who enjoy worshiping in this historic chapel.  

We welcome everyone to join with us at these special services for the Christian faith.

Palm crosses for Holy Week