Holy Cross Anglican Church Hackett

Following Jesus and building community in Canberra’s Inner North

Good Friday and Easter Sunday

Join us online for worship this Easter!

Friday 10 April, 9.30am: Service of Music and Readings (a live link will be available here half an hour before the service).

Sunday 12 April, 9.30am: Easter Sunday Eucharist (a live link will be available here half an hour before the service).

Maundy Thursday Passover Meal (with Washing of Feet)


  • Decorate your table with a white cloth, candles, Palm Sunday’s leftover palm branches, and baskets of Matzo crackers or flatbread (homemade or available at most grocery stores).
  • For each place setting, set out a goblet and a plate. On each plate include the following: half a boiled egg; a spoonful of charoset (fruit and nut paste) or a few nuts and fruit slices; a sprig of parsley or piece of celery; a spoonful of horseradish.
  • Around the table, place a few small bowls of salted water.
  • Set an extra place to represent Jesus’ place at the table.
  • Nearby, have a bowl of warm water for foot (or hand) washing, along with a towel.
  • Have wine (and/or red grape juice) nearby, and the meal ready to serve: the traditional menu includes lamb on the bone, vegetables, and dessert cakes, but feel free to adapt this.
  • Allow children to ask questions, and keep the atmosphere light: this is a celebration.

Optional Introduction

This introduction is especially appropriate for households with young children.

PARENT: Tonight, we take part in the Passover Seder meal. It’s a tradition celebrated by Jesus’s people, the Jewish people. The Passover celebrates the time when God, through Moses, led his people out of slavery. The Egyptian pharaoh let the people go after the angel of death killed every firstborn in Egypt but “passed over” the Israelite homes with lamb’s blood on their doorposts.

PARENT: Tonight, we celebrate a Jewish ritual. But we are not Jewish: we are Christians. So why do you think we should celebrate Passover?

Give children a chance to respond, and be open to their thoughts and questions.

PARENT: One reason we celebrate is to remember how God helped his people by leading them out of slavery. We remember that God keeps His promises. Can you think of a time when God has kept a promise in your life?

Allow children to respond.

PARENT: We also celebrate Passover because Jesus did! Remember when Jesus joined his friends for one last meal before he died on the cross? The “Last Supper” was a Passover celebration. That night, Jesus shared bread and wine with his disciples in a special way. This was the beginning of our Holy Communion. He also washed his disciples’ feet. They were amazed by what he did for them.

PARENT: And so, we eat this meal to remember Jesus Christ. We will eat the same kinds of foods that Jesus ate. We will say some of the same words he said. And we can be amazed, too!

PARENT (drawing attention to the goblets): During the meal, you will be served a drink four times, which is an ancient tradition of the Passover Seder. The four cups are: The cup of sanctification, which reminds us of God’s promises; the cup of deliverance, because God delivered his people out of slavery; the cup of redemption, because Jesus died for us; and the cup of praise, because we thank God for what He has done.

PARENT (drawing attention to empty seat): And we remember throughout our dinner tonight, that Jesus is always at our table, just like He was at the table with the disciples.

Lighting of the Candles

HOST: Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has kept us alive by your word.

ALL: May our house be consecrated by the light of your face shining on us in blessing and peace. 

The First Cup

We fill the glasses.

HOST: The Passover has begun. During our meal we will drink from our glass four times. The first time is the Cup of Sanctification, by which we commit this time to God and God’s glory.

ALL: Blessed are you Lord our God who created the fruit of the vine. 

All drink.

Washing of Feet

READING: John 13.1-11

HOST: Let us wash each other’s feet / hands, that we may recall whose servants we are and remember Jesus’ teaching, that what is done for us is also to be done for others.

During the foot washing, you might want to play an appropriate song such as “The Servant King” or “Brother, Sister, Let Me Serve You”.

READING: John 13.12-17

The Passover Story

The second cup is poured.

CHILD (traditionally the youngest): Why is this night different from all other nights?

HOST: Because we were once slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.

CHILD: On this night, why do we eat only unleavened bread?

HOST: The Bible says that the people had to leave Egypt so quickly that they did not have time to let the bread rise. So they made dough without yeast.

ALL: Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who created fruit from the earth. 

Bread is passed around and each person breaks off two pieces.

CHILD: What is the meaning of the lamb?

HOST: The lamb represents the paschal lamb’s blood that the Hebrews smeared on their doors. This was done so when the final plague was unleashed on the Egyptians, God would “pass over” the Hebrew houses.

CHILD: What is the meaning of the greens and salt water?

Host: The greens represent life, and the salt water the tears of life. They remind us that the life of the Israelites in Egypt was dipped in tears.

All dip greens in salt water and eat.

CHILD: What is the meaning of the bitter herbs?

HOST: The bitter herbs (horseradish) symbolise the bitterness of life in Egypt, where the Egyptians used the Israelites ruthlessly as slaves. They also remind us of the bitterness of a life gripped by sin.

All eat a small helping of bread dipped in horseradish.

CHILD: What is the meaning of the charoset?

HOST: The charoset (fruit and nuts) reminds us of the mortar used by the Israelites in their brickwork in Egypt. It is sweet because even the bitterest labour is sweetened by the promise of redemption. So we too live under the sweet promise that Jesus is coming again.

All eat charoset between two pieces of bread (representing mortar between bricks).

CHILD: What is the meaning of the egg?

HOST: The egg is a symbol of life. The eldest sons of the Israelites were glad to be alive. It reminds us that Jesus died so we who believe in him can live his risen life. We dip the egg in salt water to remind us that life was won for us through the tears of death.

All eat a piece of egg dipped in salt water

The Second Cup

HOST: You may now drink from the second cup, the cup of deliverance.

ALL: Blessed be God, who has brought us from bondage to freedom, and from sorrow to joy.

The Passover Meal

HOST: Let us eat and be thankful!

The meal is served and eaten.

The Third Cup

At the end of the meal, the third cup is poured.

HOST: The third cup is the cup of redemption. It was at this point, during the Last Supper with his disciples, that Jesus said, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood”. (Luke 22.20)

ALL: We drink it with thankfulness for the redemption Jesus won for us by his death and resurrection.

All drink.

The Fourth Cup

The fourth cup is poured.

HOST: The fourth cup is the cup of praise. Let us drink it and give thanks to God for his goodness!

ALL: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. (Psalm 118)

All drink.

Closing Song

All sing the following song (or another song of praise):

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Wednesday 10am Eucharist

Click here to join us in worship this morning! The Zoom link is live from 9.45am.

Sunday Worship, 5 April

Click here to join us in worship this morning! The Zoom meeting is open from 9am and we’ll begin our service at 9.30am.

Kids Church material is available below:

Bishop Mark’s Weekly Reflection, Sunday 5 April

Please watch Bishop Mark’s reflection on the Palm Sunday Gospel (available on the Diocesan YouTube channel):

The Blessing of a Home

A liturgy adapted from the New Zealand Prayer Book (1989) for use over the internet during the COVID-19 pandemic.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, at a time when many of us will be spending an unaccustomed amount of time at home and are unable to gather for public worship, it is important for Christians to remind ourselves that our homes are sacred places, consecrated to God, where the life of the Church continues as young and old pray, worship, study, and share fellowship together.

It is timely to remember that for the first few centuries of the Church’s existence, local Christian communities (including all those communities to whom the New Testament epistles written by Paul, Peter and John are addressed) gathered almost exclusively in homes. Jesus himself grew up at the heart of a human home and family, sanctifying it by his presence, and the Gospels tell us that Jesus’s public ministry also took place in many different homes. 

To bless the home, and formally dedicate it as an environment for Christian life, is a deeply felt need by many Christian households. Home blessings are especially appropriate at times of crisis and renewal: they give us the opportunity to dedicate (or re-dedicate) our homes to God, and ask for God’s special protection on our households and families.

Since the minister cannot be physically present during this blessing liturgy, the use of water by the householders as part of the service is especially helpful as an effective and tangible sign of the work of the Holy Spirit and the presence of Christ at the heart of their home.


The family or householder(s) gather outside the front door. The minister is present on a mobile device carried by a householder.

A member of the household holds up a bowl of water.

The minister says
Praise God who made heaven and earth
Whose promise endures for ever.

We thank you God for your love in all creation,
especially for your gift of water
to sustain, refresh and cleanse all life.

We thank you that through the waters of baptism
you cleanse us,
renew us by your Spirit
and raise us to new life.

+ Through your Holy Spirit,
fulfil once more your promises
and may this water,
set apart in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
be to us an effective sign of your blessing and protection
for this home and all who dwell here.

At each subsequent stage of the liturgy, a member of the household sprinkles water around the home, while making the sign of the Cross.


The minister says
Dear friends in Christ
we enter this home in the name of God,
+ Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The Lord is here.
God’s Spirit is with us.

Except the Lord build the house,
their labour is but lost that build it.

Encircle this dwelling place with your protection, O God;
may your holy angels encompass these walls,
and peace be within them.


The minister says
In the name of God,
peace to this home.
God make it a haven for all who live here.

The youngest person present knocks at the door.

A householder reads the following

‘Behold I stand at the door and knock,’ says the Lord. ‘If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you and you with me.’

Revelation 3:20

The householder(s) then say
Welcome to this home.
Blessed be God who dwells in love.
Blessed be God who gives peace and shelter.

God of hearth and home, maker of love and laughter,
make this a place for reflection and restoration,
rest and renewal,
a place where the life of N (and N) may find its strength.

The Lord watch over your going out and your coming in
from this time forward for evermore.


The minister says
Indwelling God, you are ever welcome in this house.
May we hear and share your Word.

A householder reads the following

Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge and you will not be judged yourselves: do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap, because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.

Luke 6:36-38

The minister says
O how good and pleasant it is, when God’s people live together in unity.

Above everything, love one another fervently,
for love covers many sins.

God in Trinity,
you have made us to need each other
and to grow best with companions;
bless those who shall sit or talk or work together here.
May they share your care and understanding.

If there are dependants, the minister may speak to the parent(s) or carer(s)
N (and N), will you be true to this family?
Will you support and care for each other
so that together you may care
for those whom God has given you?
The parent(s) or carer(s) respond
Yes, we will.
May God give us joy in what we do
and patience when our work seems hard.

The minister may then address the dependent(s)
N (and N), will you, their children / family / friends,
give them your support?
The dependents respond
Yes we will. May God be with you.

The minister then says to all
May you grow on and grow old in the love of God.
May this place be for you a place where
relationships mature,
quarrels are made up,
failures forgiven and strength renewed.
Blessed be Christ the prince of peace
who breaks down the walls that divide.

The peace of God be always with you.
Praise to Christ who unites us in peace.

All greet each other and share a sign of peace.


The minister says
Whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door
and pray to your Father who is in secret;
And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

O God, you love to hear the prayers of your children.
Bless this prayer corner;
may it may be a place of refreshment, quiet, and consolation
for all who spend time here daily with you.
May we treasure the living presence of Jesus
at the heart of our home and our lives.


The minister says
Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Put out into the deep water,
and let down your nets for a catch.’

O God, you made us in your image and likeness,
and you desire us to seek after all that is good, true and beautiful.
Bless this device / these devices,
and grant that during our time connected to the internet,
we will direct our hands and eyes only to that which is pleasing to You.
May we treat with charity and patience
all those whom we encounter there
and may we always be a blessing to each other.


The group moves to each bedroom in turn.

The minister says
Guide us waking, O God,
and guard us sleeping,
that awake we may watch with Christ,
and asleep we may rest in your peace.

I lie down in peace and take my rest
for it is in God alone that I dwell unafraid.

God of the night,
may this be a holy and blessèd place
for N (and N) and all who may sleep here.
Here may they know your loving presence,
find rest for their fatigue,
and peace for their anxiety.
May your holy angels guard them,
and your continual blessing strengthen them.


The minister says
‘I will sprinkle you with clean water, and you will be cleansed.’

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering,
having our bodies washed with pure water.

Blessed are you, our Saviour Jesus Christ,
fountain of living water springing up to eternal life;
in you is our baptism, in you is our faith.

Blessed are you God of the rain, the rivers, and the lakes,
you give water for life and health
to refresh and cleanse all creatures.


The minister says
Teach us, O God, where wisdom is to be found, and
show us the place of understanding.

Seek your God and you will be found.
Search for God with all your heart
and with all your mind.

O God, the source of all wisdom,
may this be a place of reflection and awareness,
of knowledge and understanding.
Show yourself for us,
lest we go about in ignorance;
reveal yourself to us,
for in you we know the incarnate word.


The minister says
Many there are who rely upon their hands
and are skilful in their own creativity and work.

Prosper, O God, the work of our hands.
Prosper our handiwork.

O God,
your blessed son worked with his hands
in the carpenter’s shop at Nazareth:
be present we pray with those who work in this place.
Give them work till their life ends,
and life till their work is done,
that labouring together with you
they may share the joy of your creation.


The minister says
As the earth brings forth its blossom,
or bushes in a garden burst into flower,
so shall the Lord God make righteousness and praise
blossom before all the people.

The earth brought forth vegetation,
plants yielding seed,
and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed,
each according to its kind.
And God saw that it was good.

Jesus, our good companion,
often you withdrew with your friends
for quiet and refreshment;
be present with your servants in this place.
Make it a place of serenity and peace.


The minister says
You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has dealt so wondrously with you.

The eyes of all wait upon you O God
and you give them their food in due season.

God of garden, farm and factory
may what is prepared here bring strength and health.
Bless the hands that work in this place,
nourish us with all goodness
and give us grateful hearts for daily bread.
May Christ our constant guest
make our humblest meal a welcome offering.


The minister says
The living God gave you from heaven
rain and fruitful seasons
satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.
God brings forth food from the earth
and wine to gladden the heart.

Blessed are you, Sovereign of the universe,
for gifts from your bounty which we receive.
May our hearts be thankful;
may we always have room for a guest.
Make us grateful for all your mercies,,
and mindful of the needs of others.


The minister blesses each member of the household, inviting all to lay hands on each in turn, and saying
N, God bless you and keep you secure in this place.
May your family/companion(s) find
in you Christ’s love and understanding.

The minister says to all present
Hear God’s word of benediction:
the fruit of righteousness will be peace
and the result of righteousness,
tranquillity and trust for ever,
my people will abide
in secure dwellings
and in quiet resting places.

And now may the eternal Spirit
enfold this home with love,
indwell this home with joy,
build this home in peace,
and the blessing of God Almighty
+ Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
be upon you and all those whom you love
now and for ever.

Sunday Worship, 29 March

Click here to join us in worship this morning! The Zoom meeting is open from 9am and we’ll begin our service at 9.30am.

Kids Church material is available below:

Update after an extraordinary week

It’s been an extraordinary week. For my part, I feel a tremendous sense of joy and gratitude for our Holy Cross community at this time, as we seek to be faithful to God’s calling in these changing circumstances.

1. Sunday worship online
Following a successful trial service on 22 March, we will now be running a weekly online Sunday service using Zoom. To join us in worship, simply go to the website on Sunday morning any time after 9am, and click on the Zoom link to join the meeting – the service will start officially at 9.30am.

A few things you might want to bear in mind:

  • BE AWARE that you are attending a public service, so please give some thought to how others will see and hear you (for example, is your camera pointing up your nose, or at the ceiling?!?)
  • If you don’t want to be seen, then please turn off your own video. You may also wish to set a photograph as a “virtual background” in Zoom Preferences.
  • If your home environment is noisy, or if you are going to make some noise yourself (for example: take a phone call, boil a kettle, talk to a family member), then please turn off your own microphone.

2. Church building & grounds
Following the most recent government advice, Holy Cross and St Margaret’s church buildings have been closed to the public as of 23 March. All official church business (worship, small groups, meetings) will be moving online. Following advice from the ACT Government and the Diocese, Tuckerbox will be continuing at present, as it is to be regarded as an “essential service”. Tuckerbox operations will be reviewed on a weekly basis as the situation evolves.

3. Pastoral care
Parish Council has set up a new Pastoral Care Group (currently comprising the Rector, Justin Combs, Trish Stoddart, and Michelle Shepherdson), which met for the first time on Tuesday 24 March. Please feel free to contact any of us with your needs, ideas or suggestions.

4. Gatherings at home
On Tuesday 24 March the Prime Minister gave the following detailed advice about home visits:

“Visits to your premises, to your house, to your residence, should be kept to a minimum and with very small numbers of guests. We don’t want to be overly specific about that. We want Australians to exercise their common sense.” (Full transcript at https://www.pm.gov.au/media/press-conference-australian-parliament-house-5)

Members of the Holy Cross family should follow the most up-to-date Government advice when deciding if it is appropriate to meet in very small numbers, for example to take part in a Zoom service if you have no home internet connection. If you’d like to discuss this, please call the Rector.

5. Prayer at home
At our online service on Sunday, I proposed that Holy Cross adopt the icon of “The Proclamation of the Kingdom” by Kaspars and Ruta Poikans as a focus for our prayers during the COVID-19 epidemic. This icon is a meditation on three Bible stories: Jesus preaching from the boat, Jesus calming the storm, and the miraculous catch of fish. It also evokes the image of the Church as a boat, with Christ in our midst, the Holy Spirit as the wind, and the Cross as the mast.

I also want to encourage you all to set up a permanent prayer corner in your home. You might want to include:

  • a comfortable chair
  • candles
  • Bible
  • icon
  • prayer diary
  • bible notes
  • finger labyrinth
  • prayer beads
  • music player
  • anything else that helps you to pray

Finally, don’t forget there is a free Epray app (available for Android and iOS), which allows you to pray Morning and Evening Prayer at home. The Holy Cross parish code is 6806, and you can download the app here.

Please be assured of my prayers and blessings for you all, as we move together into a new season of “doing church differently”.

God bless, Tim

Doing offerings differently

During last Sunday’s first video service, Tim spoke about ways in which we might share our ‘Time, Talents and Treasure’ as we do church differently. Some of you have been asking how you might make your financial contributions while we are currently unable to congregate in person.

There are two options currently available: making offerings using bank transfer, or having someone collect your offering using the envelope system. More information can be found here.

Tim and the parish council are working hard on ways for us to worship God, serve others and care for our Christ-centred community in these challenging times. We will keep in touch with you all as best we can and we welcome your ideas.

Graphic showing 3-way pie chart with "Time, Treasure and Talents" in equal measure. Title text reads 2020 Parish Offering: "On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh." (Matthew 2:11)

Sunday Worship Online

Holy Cross is worshipping online on Sunday 22 March at 9.30am, using Zoom video conferencing. This is our first attempt at using Zoom for worship, so you will be able to connect from 9.00am, which gives you 30 minutes to sort out any connection problems before the service begins.

Even if you have never used Zoom before, it is simple for you to attend:

  • click on the web link (after 9.00am on Sunday) – https://zoom.us/j/5675297261
  • if you do not already have the Zoom app, you will be prompted to download and install it (this is normally quick and easy)
  • join the meeting

There is no separate Kids Church provision today, though we hope to have something in place by next week – for today, you’ll find a colouring page and a word search below which you can download and print at home.

We will be in touch with members of the Holy Cross church family in the next few days, to see how you are and keep you informed. Please stay in touch, look for updates, and be assured of our prayers for you!

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