We invite you to join us for our Holy Week and Easter Liturgies.
Holy Week is a time when we journey with our Lord through his final days on earth and includes some of the richest teachings Christ left for us – teachings that cut to the quick and challenge us to contemplate what Christian Discipleship looks like, for us, in our local and universal context. All of us are invited into this epic love story that began with the stars and continues on today.
Holy Week is the final week of Lent and is filled with one of the most ancient, most powerful liturgies of Christendom: The Triduum (which means “period of three days”).
As Leonel L. Mitchell notes in his commentary Lent, Holy Week, Easter, and the Great Fifty Days, “In one sense it is a single liturgical act, from Maundy Thursday through the Great Vigil. This is the period in which we pass over with Christ from death to life, celebrating each event in the drama of salvation and entering into the mystery of dying and rising again with the Lord of Life. It is here that all of the pieties of Holy Week come together, and at many different levels, the people of God are caught up into the divine mystery. We die, and live and reign with Christ.”
TRIDUUM: (three days)
Maundy Thursday, April 13 6:00 P.M.
The names comes from the Latin Mandatum and refers to the new commandment in John 13:34 where Jesus, while at supper with his friends, instituted foot washing and Holy Eucharist. It is the beginning of the Triduum Liturgy where we remember the events that took place on the night before Jesus was crucified. We will gather for a light meal, as we have been on Wednesday evenings throughout Lent, and then you will be invited to have your feet washed as well as to wash your neighbor’s.
After we participate in the Holy Eucharist one last time before the Resurrection, we will process into the sanctuary where we will prayerfully watch as the altar is stripped bare, to symbolically keep watch with our Lord. The congregation will then leave in silence until we gather for the Good Friday liturgy.
GOOD FRIDAY, April 14 6:00 P.M.
Here we will regather to continue the Triduum Service with the readings and prayers outlined in the Book of Common Prayer. The congregation will be invited to venerate the Cross before leaving, again in silence.
THE GREAT VIGIL OF EASTER, April 15 (incense lightly used) 8:30 P.M. (We begin by the Baby Pantry so bring a coat if it’s chilly)
The Vigil, the final part of the Triduum, dates back to the fourth century as a way for the faithful, who could not participate in the Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, could still walk with the pilgrims. It consists of the lighting of the new fire by which the new Paschal Candle is lit for the first time (which we will then use at every Eucharist throughout Eastertide, at every funeral, and every baptism until next Easter). We then process into the church as Deacon Marilou chants the ancient exultant into the darkened sanctuary where the service continues be candle light. We will listen to the saving acts of God from the scripture before proclaiming the resurrection with all the bells and whistles! The Holy Eucharist will then be introduced proclaiming “Alleluia! Christ is Risen!” Handbells ring, lights go up, and the greatest celebration of the Church’s observances ushers us into the Great Fifty Days of feasting!
EASTER DAY, April 16 10:00 A.M. with Easter-egg Hunt during Coffee Hour
Easter Day presents us with a new opportunity to share in the joy of the Risen Christ. Although we know the story, each liturgical season presents a new lens through which to experience the mysteries of our faith in word and sacrament. The Resurrection Feast (Easter) is a time for us to awaken to new attentiveness of the power of the Holy Spirit in our world, in our lives, and in our community of faith.