Valerie Shelmerdine blogs on the beauty of the Easter Dawn Service – this year to be held together with St. Margaret’s, Putney and presided over by Rev. Brutus Green.
“Get a Little Closer to Jesus”
Have you ever thought about coming to the Dawn Service at 6.00am on Putney Heath? It’s on the part that is known locally as the “frying pan”. No! I hear you say – it’s too early, too cold, too dark, too far away or whatever else you may want to add. So let me just put in a word for this underrated event.
As many of you will know I have four sons who all sang in the choir as boys and the choir is always busy over the Eastertide. I used to put a chart on the wall which had all the Easter services on it and they would get a star for each one they attended. Starting with Maundy Thursday, the long Good Friday (because that took 3 hours), the Vigil on Saturday evening, the Dawn Service at 6.00 am and then the 10.00 am service on Sunday morning. If they got 5 stars they got a little prize.
As members of the choir they had to come to three of those services but the Vigil and the Dawn Service were their choice. As you can imagine there used to be a few grumbles at attending all these services except for one! That was the Dawn Service! For many years they were always there, getting up in the dark, helping me carry things for the refreshments after the service and helping, first David Painter then John Cox and followed by Jim and Keith, to carry the table to the common for communion. As the boys grew older and their voices broke they left the choir but they would always come to this service even if they missed some of the others. Harry, the youngest, came with us long before he was a choir member. He joined the choir aged seven and he already knew most of the hymns by heart. We were standing on the common on his first Easter as a choir member and he said to me, “This is the best service we do.” “Why?” I asked. “Because there is nothing between me and Jesus.” He replied. Easter was early that year and it was still dark. I looked down at him and he was staring up at the starts. “There is no roof here and I know he can see me.”
So if you want to get a little closer to Jesus this Easter – the place to be is the Dawn Service. You will get refreshment during and after the service.
from Valerie and all the Shelmerdines
This year, the Easter Services within Roehampton Ecumenical Parish are as follows:
Palm Sunday 14th April 2019
10am Parish Eucharist (distribution of palms) Holy Trinity Church
3pm Service at Roehampton Methodist Church
Maundy Thursday 18th April 2019
8pm Parish Eucharist with full liturgy and Vigil until 11pm at Holy Trinity Church
Good Friday 19th April 2019
9.30am Morning Prayer with Litany at Holy Trinity Church
12pm Quiet Prayer at Roehampton Methodist Church
12.30pm Gathering Service and Walk of Witness carrying the Cross
2pm Holy Hour with passion play at Holy Trinity Church
3pm Liturgy at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic church
Easter Eve – Easter Saturday 20th April 2019
Between 5pm and 6pm Quiet Vigil of Waiting at Holy Trinity Church
Easter Day – Easter Sunday 21st April 2019
6am Dawn Eucharist at the Frying-Pan on the Common
7.15am Morning Prayer (said)
10am Parish Eucharist with Lighting of the Easter Fire at Holy Trinity Church
3pm Holy Communion at Roehampton Methodist Church