Holy Week

Resources and Masses for Holy Week in Clifton Diocese


Many people are asking how we will observe Easter this year in these difficult times. Here’s some guidance from Rome in the form of a decree.


As we are in the most important week of the year – Holy Week – the way we follow Christ – from his triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, to the foot of the Cross, to an empty tomb – will be completely different this year.

In preparation, many would have availed themselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation – Confession – to prepare for a fresh start at Easter. But what does it mean for our spiritual well-being and salvation if we can’t fulfil our “Easter Duties”?

Holy Week with Pope Francis

We will embed live Catholic Masses and prayers here for the latest broadcast events from Vatican Live.

Fr Christopher Whitehead, Parish Priest, St John’s Bath talks us through Holy Week.

Bishop Declan’s Easter message

Bishop Declan has recorded his Easter message in which he reminds us that although not able to go to church, we need to remind ourselves that we are Church.  In our homes Christ is always present even if we are not always present to him.  Jesus promised never to leave us.  We may not be able to gather as a parish family or the diocesan one, but we can gather in our homes as the domestic Church.  Our homes are varied and so is the Church because in the Church all people should find a home.  No one should feel excluded because Christ came to reconcile us to the Father and to one another.  At the beginning of Lent we were reminded that we are ambassadors for Christ and our message is:  be reconciled to God.


Bishop Declan

Cardinal Vincent Nichols prays for the victims and survivors of abuse, particularly childhood abuse, on this day of prayer dedicated to this intention.

Cardinal Nichols in conversation with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Chief Rabbi discussing how faith in God sustains us at this time of pandemic #GodSustains

Cardinal Nichols talks about our Easter Duties and the Forgiveness of Sins


Cardinal Vincent Nichols is encouraging Catholics to #PrayForPriests through Holy Week – particularly on Maundy Thursday when we recall the Last Supper and the institution of the Holy Eucharist.

“I ask you, please, this Holy Week – this Maundy Thursday – to pray for priests that they will be faithful and generous. And I know they are spending a lot of time in prayer for you.

Here’s the first in our four-part art and culture series ‘At the Foot of the Cross’.

We’ve picked four famous works for the Paschal Triduum. Today, for Maundy Thursday, we start with Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’.

We have two excellent contributors. First we get an entertaining and vibrant take on da Vinci’s piece from London-based gallery guide Lynne Hanley. Lynne takes groups around the National Gallery for intimate and lively ‘Beyond the Palette’ art tours. Then we get the “Priest’s Perspective” from the knowledgeable and engaging Fr Christopher Whitehead – priest of St John the Evangelist Church in Bath.

This is the story of Holy Week told through 100 paintings, ranging from Ancient Rome to Contemporary Art. We hope this video may bring some joy amidst the pandemic turmoil we find ourselves in. “Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you, all things are passing away: God Never changes” – St. Teresa of Avila. Coutesy of www.christian.art

Above: Pope’s Holy Week message: ‘Creativity of love can overcome isolation’

Below is the live stream from Vatican TV

Above: Stations of the Cross then and now (1-hour video presentation)

Below is the live stream of Masses from Clifton Cathedral. Schedule

All Together:

This is a collection of online resources which are offered to help people live through the coronavirus pandemic. Their special quality is that they don’t come from theories; they all come from those with experience of social distancing or isolation, people who have lived this reality either intentionally like monks and nuns or against their will like hostages or the housebound. This is a new and difficult journey for most people but experienced guides give us hope along the way. As the pandemic unfolds, more resources will be added. If you have any thoughts about what resources would be helpful you can email ‘Alone Together’ by clicking on the link on the foot of the main web page.

Website: www.alonetogether.org.uk

Wintershall play online

Wintershall shares the Bible story with those of all ages, of all faiths and none, through the presentation of high quality drama. Most of the time their performance takes place on the Winetershall estate in Surrey. On Good Friday, however they take the Passion to Trafalgar Square.  This year they will be broadcasting a video presentation of The Passion via Facebook on Good Friday. To find out more please visit their  website by clicking the image.

Website: www.wintershall.org.uk

The Easter Story in Plain English

An Easter story resource designed for children who prefer the Bible in plain English words and pictures.
An Easter story resource designed for children who prefer the Bible in plain English words and pictures; with a character code to help bring the stories to life.

PDF document

Praying Holy week 2020

Reflections inspired by the images of Arcabas, ‘painter of the soul’, prepared by St Beuno’s Outreach, for each day of Holy Week.

‘In what ways do I react in times of stress or difficulty – as in this current pandemic? What do I want to tell Jesus?’

Website: www.pathwaystogod.org

Walk in Jesus’ footsteps from home

Friends of the Holy Land provide the reflections and stations of the cross, “In Jesus Steps”, to help guide your prayers in support of our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land in this time of crisis and especially as we begin Holy Week. We are most grateful to The Holy Trinity and Our Lady Parish, Fleet, and Church Crookham. They also hope that these reflections will inspire you to visit the Holy Land as soon as possible in an actual pilgrimage and meet your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Click here to access the website: www.friendsoftheholyland.org.uk

Holy Week at home


Ten ways to take part in Holy Week when you can’t get to church


  1. Palm Sunday –  assuming that you are able to go out to your garden or a local park, why not find branches of greenery to bring in to your home? Most of us will not be able to have a palm cross this year but it is good to remember that the people of Jerusalem were gathering what was available to them! In some places for example, they use pussy willow branches, which are in season at this time. It might also be a good way to connect with your neighbours if you place some of the branches in your windows. You could also create some paper streamers or improvise with other materials if you don’t want to leave the house due to self-isolation.
  2. The Sunday service on Radio 4 is a broadcast from The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, you can listen online or on Radio 4 at 8.10 am. 
  3. Have you listened to our Imaginative Conversations series? There are episodes for each day of Holy Week and will help you enter into the scenes which the scriptures describe. 
  4. Make space in a corner of your house for prayer, If you haven’t done this already due to lack of space or time, then Holy Week might be a good time to do this. It doesn’t need to be elaborate, but means you have a focal point. 
  5. You can use our Praying with Art series which has videos connected with different scenes from the Passion of Christ.
  6. On Holy Thursday you could follow the Jewish Passover tradition by talking at your family or household meal about the history of God’s people using some bible stories. Is there a special act of service you can make for family, friends, or other people, just like Jesus washed his disciples feet?
  7. We have several versions of the Stations of the Cross available on Pathways to God. You can choose which you would prefer to use and pray with two stations each day, or pray with all the stations on Good Friday. Try Stations of the Cross with Nick King, Scriptural Stations of the Cross by David Stewart SJ, or Pray as you go Stations of the Cross.
  8. On Holy Saturday, we recommend you listen to Women of the Cross. You could also spend some time in silent prayer. Perhaps take a walk outside if you can or sit in the garden. 
  9. On the evening of the Paschal Vigil or on Easter Sunday, you could light a candle in your home to remind you of Christ’s light. 
  10. If you have access to the right materials, you could make an Easter Garden. You will need a tray or container, a plant pot or some stones to make a tomb and some lollypop sticks, twigs or bamboo cane to make crosses. To decorate your garden, you can use moss, grass, small plants like daisies which might grow nearby, or anything else you can find. 

Elizabeth Harrison: www.pathwaystogod.org