Messy Easter @ Holy Trinity Church Parish Hall

Cross made from icing on a biscuitThe first Messy Church Formby to take place at Holy Trinity Church Parish Hall was on Saturday 23rd March and we were very pleased to see lots of families. Despite the freezing weather the poeple came, some were regular Messy Church goers and we welcomed some new families too.

The theme of this Messy Church was Easter including Palm Sunday and holy week. As in the past all the activities linked into the theme.

Activities

Kittle girl with her palm leafHoly Week is the last week of Lent, the week immediately preceding Easter or Resurrection Sunday. The Sunday before Easter is known as Palm Sunday. It celebrates Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem for the Jewish festival of Passover. Great crowds of people lined the streets waving palm branches to welcome him. The people were very excited. They spread branches on the road – and even laid down their clothes. They shouted 'Hosanna!' which means 'Save us Now!'

Making palm leavesPalm leaves - we made palm leaves and used them in our worship to celebrate the triumphant arrival of Jesus into Jerusalem.

On Maundy Thursday we remember when Jesus ate the Passover meal with his disciples, breaking bread and drinking wine, which is now known as the Last Supper.

We remember this by sharing bread and wine together in a service called Holy Communion or Eucharist. It is a reminder that Jesus sacrificed his life for mankind.

Boy sampling a passover mealAt Messy Church we tried all the different foods of the passover meal. Whilst experiencing the tastes that Jesus would have tasted at the last supper we learnt the reason for these foods.

Jesus told his followers that they should love and serve one another. He demonstrated this by washing the feet of the disciples - something a servant would normally do. You can read this story in the Bible in John Ch.13v1-15

The word maundy comes from the command (mandate) given by Jesus at the Last Supper, that we should love one another.

Good Friday

Girl hammering cross prayers onto a crossGood Friday is the Friday before Easter Sunday. It commemorates the execution of Jesus by crucifixion.

Good Friday is a day of mourning in church. During special Good Friday services we remember Jesus' suffering and death on the cross, and what this means for our faith.

Cross Prayers - At Messy Church we wrote prayers on crosses and then nailed them to a cross. This was to help the us understand the pain and suffering on the cross and the suffering in the world.

Image of Jesus on the cross from Walk of WitnessSometimes there are special Good Friday processions, or re-enactments of the Crucifixion. If you want to experience one of these the 'Walk of Witness' takes place at Formby Pool at 11am on Good Friday, where there will be a re-enactment of Jesus' last days.

The main service on Good Friday takes place between midday and 3pm. Holy Trinity will be having an hour at the cross at 2pm where the service will be take the form of a meditation based on the seven last words of Jesus on the cross, with hymns, prayers, and short sermons.

Easter Sunday

Girl decorating a biscuitAfter Jesus was crucified on Good Friday, his body was taken down from the cross, and buried in a cave tomb. The tomb was guarded by Roman Soldiers and an enormous stone was put over the entrance, so that no-one could steal the body.

On the Sunday, Mary Magdalene, followed later by some of Jesus' disciples visited the tomb and found that the stone had been moved, and that Jesus' body had gone.

Egg Biscuits - The Children decorated homemade biscuits in the shape of eggs to celebrate the empty tomb and as a symbol of new life.

Boy showing his cross pictureJesus himself was seen that day by Mary and the disciples, and for forty days afterwards by many people. His followers realised that God had raised Jesus from the dead. Christians call this the Resurrection.

Jesus My Saviour - We painted a cross picture with lots of bright colours to express that although Jesus' death was a very dark event, he died to save us from our sins. From gloom comes brightness because Jesus will always be our saviour.

Gilr making Easter symbols out of clayEaster Symbols - All the symbols that are around at Easter stem from the Easter story in some way. In order to illustrate this we made different symbols out of clay.

Boys decorating crossesThe Cross - Paradoxically the cross is a symbol of suffering and defeat but also of triumph and salvation. Since the resurrection the cross has become the universal Christian symbol, acknowledged by all denominations as the single visual identifier of their faith. Crosses can be quite diverse in their design, so at Messy Church we decorated our own crosses as a symbol of our faith.

Boy and father doing a word searchBible Table - In order to explore the Easter story further there was a quiz and some puzzles to help the children learn more.

Easter Cards - the children made Easter cards to take away and give to their friends and family.

The Worship

Little girl holding the Easter card which she has made.After an hour of activities we moved into the Jubilee hall for the worship part of the afternoon. We sang songs and waved our Palm leaves as Rachel told us the story of Palm Sunday. After the worship there was food and a time of fellowship.

The next Messy Church at Holy Trinity Parish Hall will be in May, but if you can't wait until then Messy Church is being held at Regate School on Sunday, 28th April. We'd love to see you there.