Holy Week Schedule 2019

Click here for an introduction to each of the Holy Week Services by our rector.

Click for the Easter Flowers donation/dedication form.

PALM_SUNDAY-01Palm Sunday, April 14

Come and join the procession to recall the story of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and to proclaim God’s victory over sin and death.

8:00am      Liturgy of the Palms and Holy Eucharist
10:30am    Liturgy of the Palms and Holy Eucharist
We will gather on the lawn at the 10:30am service for a New Orleans “Second Line” style procession into the church.

8c40980757fd485398b82eff46e204b9_f1754Maundy Thursday, April 18

We walk through the story of Jesus’ last night with his friends: washing each other’s feet, eating supper, sharing the first Eucharist, and reposing to the darkness of the garden.

5:45pm     Family Service with Foot Washing and Simply Eucharist
        6:30pm     Potluck Soup Supper
7:15pm     Choral Eucharist with Foot Washing and Stripping of the Altar

GOOD_FRIDAY-01Good Friday, April 19

We encounter the greatest mystery of our faith, when the cross of death becomes the tree of life.

12:00pm   Spoken Service with hymns
        5:45pm     Children’s Service: The Stations of Holy Week
7:15pm     Choral Service

VIGIL-01The Great Vigil of Easter, April 20

This is the most beautiful, the most sacred, the most mysterious liturgy of the whole year …

Immersed in deep darkness, we light a blazing new fire.
Immersed in God’s story, we encounter our own.
Immersed in Baptismal waters, we share in new life.

9:00pm    The Great Vigil of Easter Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

easterExamples

Easter Sunday, April 21

Alleluia Christ is Risen! We celebrate the Resurrection with festival services.

8:00 am    Spoken Eucharist
10:30am   Choral Eucharist
11:45am   Easter Egg Hunt

Introducing Holy Week: The Great Vigil of Easter


In the dark night (9:00 pm) before Easter Morning, a fire is kindled. A voice sings out “The Light of Christ!” The people respond, “Thanks be to God.” The Easter Vigil is the holiest moment in the Christian calendar. The liturgy is otherworldly, intentionally. In the darkness, the great and saving acts of God throughout history are recalled.

The people process into the church, and the cantor who sang “The Light of Christ” continues chanting the Exsultet, “This is the night when you brought the children of Israel, out of bondage in Egypt, and led them through the Red Sea on dry land…This is the night, when Christ broke the bonds of death and hell, and rose victorious from the grave.” This is the night, we hear it again and again.

The service then proceeds into a series of readings, silences, songs, and prayers. We read more of the Bible than at any other service in the year. The Church remembers God’s saving deeds. All of it builds to the reading of the Gospel of the Resurrection, the story of the disciples, women and men who followed Jesus walking into the empty tomb, discovering that Jesus is risen.

For almost two thousand years, the night before Easter has been the principle time when adult converts to the faith are baptized. We make our way to the font, and new Christians are baptized.  Together we all recall our baptismal promises together. We remember that we have passed with Christ through death to new life. Death has no sting.

After the baptisms, the darkened church erupts in light. The presiding priest proclaims the first Alleluia of Easter: “Alleluia, Christ is risen!” and the people respond, “The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!” We celebrate Holy Eucharist together in the brightened church.

Afterwards, at Holy Communion, we continue the feast. We pop corked bottles of wine and sparkling cider. Tables of chocolate (and a chocolate fountain) and other desserts greet us as we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection into the early hours of Easter Morning.

Introducing Holy Week: Good Friday

On Good Friday we remember the crucifixion. Good Friday is a stark service. The usual decorations in the church were stripped the night before. The priest and choir are vested all in black. We wait and watch with Jesus. We meditate on the death of Jesus. The tone is somber.

We read the Passion story, the story of the betrayal of Jesus, his friend Peter’s denial of their relationship, the sentence of death from the Roman governor, the journey through the city carrying the cross, and finally the crucifixion. The story is hard to hear.

There is no Eucharist celebrated on Good Friday. Instead, we recite and sing songs of lament. We pray for the state of the whole world. Then a wooden cross is brought into the church, and the congregation is invited to spend time at the foot of the cross. Some may choose to come forward and pray at the foot of the cross. Some may touch or even kiss the wood.

On the cross God took the worst of human stories, betrayal, suffering, denial, death, and wrote good news into human history. We can’t undo the past, but we can build a better future. The Rev. Dr. Luis Leon once wrote: “Peter’s tears of sorrow will wonder of wonders, be made a fountain of new life. God will fashion out of this wreckage of denial a new life of grace and power. That is why we dare to call this Friday ‘good.’”

One of the best meditations on Good Friday is the spiritual: “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” We are invited into the loss, the pain, and the sadness.

On Good Friday, as on Maundy Thursday, the service ends without a dismissal. Holy Week’s three solemn services are all part of the same whole. We are not dismissed because remembering Jesus’ crucifixion is incomplete without commemorating the resurrection. The next day Holy Week culminates in the Easter Vigil, the holiest night of the Christian year.

Introducing Holy Week: Maundy Thursday

A series of three services over three days mark the heart of Holy Week. In Latin these three days are called the “Triduum” (which simply means “the three days”). These final days of Holy Week are the most sacred in the Christian calendar. This week before Holy Week I will be posting a simple meditation about each service, and how we remember the Jesus in the Triduum.

Maundy Thursday starts the cycle. The church community gathers to remember Jesus’ last supper with his disciples. We call to mind the night that we remember week in and week out in the Eucharist, and Jesus’ words about the bread and wine: “this is my body, and this is my blood.” The word “maundy” in old English means “Mandate” or “command.” There are actually two commands on Maunday Thursday, and they are connected.

The first command is the Eucharist: “Do this” Jesus says, “in rememberance of me.” In his classic work on Communion, “The Shape of the Liturgy” the Anglican Theologian Gregory Dix wrote:

“Was ever another command so obeyed? For century after century, spreading slowly to every continent and every country and among every race on earth, this action has been done, in every conceivable human circumstance…[people] have found no better thing than this to do for kings at their crowning and for criminals going to the scaffold.”

Indeed, this mandate to remember Christ in the Eucharist continues to shape the life of millions across the planet week in and week out.

There is a second, and I would argue deeply connected commandment. On Maundy Thursday we read John’s account of the last supper. John doesn’t mention bread and wine. Instead the action centers around Jesus’ washing the disciples feet. Jesus says, “if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” The teacher spends his last night with the disciples connecting the dots. To remember Jesus is to serve another.

On Thursday at church, we will gather to celebrate Eucharist, to remember Jesus, and to wash one another’s feet. After the Eucharist, we reserve the sacrament in the chapel, which is decorated to remind us of the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus went to pray after the Last Supper. Some of the congregation may choose to pray awhile with the reserve sacrament on Thursday night. The service will conclude with stripping the altar, taking away every decoration that isn’t bolted down. We empty the sanctuary to prepare ourselves for the stark reality of Good Friday.

Holy Week Schedule 2018

Click here for an introduction to each of the Holy Week Services by our rector.

Click for the Easter Flowers donation/dedication form.

PALM_SUNDAY-01Palm Sunday, March 25

Come and join the procession to recall the story of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and to proclaim God’s victory over sin and death.

8:00am      Liturgy of the Palms and Holy Eucharist
10:30am    Liturgy of the Palms and Holy Eucharist
We will gather on the lawn at the 10:30am service for a New Orleans “Second Line” style procession into the church.

8c40980757fd485398b82eff46e204b9_f1754Maundy Thursday, March 29

We walk through the story of Jesus’ last night with his friends: washing each other’s feet, eating supper, sharing the first Eucharist, and reposing to the darkness of the garden.

5:30pm     Family Service with Foot Washing and Simply Eucharist
        6:15pm     Potluck Soup Supper
7:00pm     Choral Eucharist with Foot Washing and Stripping of the Altar

GOOD_FRIDAY-01Good Friday, March 30

We encounter the greatest mystery of our faith, when the cross of death becomes the tree of life.

12:00pm   Spoken Service with hymns
        5:30pm     Children’s Service: The Stations of Holy Week
7:00pm     Choral Service

VIGIL-01The Great Vigil of Easter, March 31

This is the most beautiful, the most sacred, the most mysterious liturgy of the whole year …

Immersed in deep darkness, we light a blazing new fire.
Immersed in God’s story, we encounter our own.
Immersed in Baptismal waters, we share in new life.

9:00pm    The Great Vigil of Easter Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

easterExamplesEaster Sunday, April 1

Alleluia Christ is Risen! We celebrate the Resurrection with festival services.

8:00 am    Spoken Eucharist
10:30am   Choral Eucharist
11:45am   Easter Egg Hunt