Safe and Welcome
Holy Week & Easter for people with autism and other special needs
Meg welcomes everyone to church and explains the service.
- During this service, you will need the service booklet that explains what we are going to do and has the words of the songs;
- It is OK to move around the church during this service;
- If you need some time out, that is fine. The hall at the back of church is open with things to do;
- There are toilets in the lobby area if you need to find them.
Make sure you have a Palm Cross. The first song is about Jesus coming in to Jerusalem on the donkey. We will wave the palm crosses as we sing this. You can keep your palm cross and take it home with you at the end of the service.
Song: We have a King who rides a Donkey
Jesus came into Jerusalem riding on a donkey.
His friends cut down branches from palm trees and waved them.
The people who were there spread their cloaks on the ground.
They were shouting and singing.
It was a big celebration.
Everyone was happy.
Everyone was happy, EXCEPT the religious leaders and the people in charge.
They were very angry because Jesus was so popular.
And they were very angry because they didn’t like what Jesus was teaching the people.
A few days later, Jesus had supper with his disciples.
During the supper, he took bread, gave thanks to God, and shared the bread with the people who were there.
He said, “This bread is like my body”.
At the end of the meal, he took a cup of wine, gave thanks to God, and shared the wine.
He said, “This wine is like my blood”.
Then he said, “Do this to remember me”.
He also took off his cloak, got a bowl and a jug of water, and washed the feet of the disciples.
He said, “Do this, because good leaders need to serve the people”.
Here is some bread.
I invite you to come and break off a small piece of bread and give it to someone in your family or to a friend.
Make sure that everyone has some bread if they want it.
Someone will say this prayer:
Thank you God
for the bread that Jesus gave us to remember him.
Thank you for all the food we eat.
Help us to make sure that everyone has food. Amen
Song: A new commandment
Jesus washed the feet of his disciples.
That would be a bit difficult to do here in church today, so I invite you to come and dip a facecloth in the water, squeeze out as much water as you can, and take the facecloth to wipe the hands of someone in your family or a friend.
There are towels here too, so that people can dry their hands.
Someone will say this prayer:
you taught us that, when we serve and help other people,
we also serve and help you:
help us to care for other people. Amen
After the supper, Jesus and his disciples went to a garden.
Jesus prayed to God.
While he was praying, soldiers came to arrest him.
He was tried by the authorities and condemned to die.
He was then put to death on a cross.
Song: I danced in the morning (3:19)
On Sunday, early in the morning, Mary Magdalene and some of the other women went to the tomb where Jesus was buried.
They found the stone had been rolled away, and the tomb was empty!
Jesus body wasn’t there any more.
A man all dressed in white – it may have been an angel – said that Jesus had risen from the dead.
Jesus wasn’t dead any more, he was alive again!
It was like everything had been made new, a new start.
At Easter, we often eat decorated eggs or chocolate eggs.
Eggs are a sign of new life, because chicks peck their way out of eggs.
Eggs also remind us of the stone in front of the tomb.
So we have an egg activity now.
Decorate the plastic eggs.
Take a piece of cotton wool and dampen it in the water.
Then put the damp cotton wool in the bottom of each half.
Sprinkle in a few cress seeds.
In a few days, the seeds will sprout – you will have new life growing in your eggs.
(Cress is good to eat with egg sandwiches).
Song: This is the day, this is the day (NONP 3:22)
Someone says a prayer:
God of glory,
by the raising of your Son
you have broken the chains of death and hell:
fill your Church with faith and hope;
for a new day has dawned
and the way to life stands open
in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen
Over the next few days and weeks, the disciples saw Jesus many times.
He joined two people walking to Emmaus and surprised them.
He came to them and said “Peace be with you”.
When Thomas didn’t believe that Jesus had come back, he told Thomas to touch the marks of his wounds.
He cooked a barbecue breakfast on the beach while the disciples went fishing.
He forgave Peter for denying him three times and told him to go and care for the people.
The disciples were so pleased to see Jesus.
Jesus taught them lots of things, so that the disciples could go and tell all the people about how much God loves them.
Choose a butterfly, flower or egg shape to hang on the cross
as a way of saying thank you to God
because Jesus has risen from the dead.
We say the Lord’s Prayer together:
Rejoicing in God’s new creation,
as our Saviour taught us, so we pray:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen.
Song: Alleluia, Alleluia, Give thanks to the Risen Lord (8:1)
Someone says a blessing prayer:
God the Father, by whose love Jesus was raised from the dead, open for you the gates of everlasting life.
God the Son, who won a glorious victory
give you joy as you share the Easter faith.
God the Holy Spirit, who filled the disciples with the life of the risen Lord, give you power and fill you with Christ’s peace.
And the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be upon you and remain with you always. Amen