April 9 – The Sunday of the Passion
Liturgy of the Palms and Holy Eucharist
8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. (Both services begin outside on the Labyrinth Patio)
This service moves from triumph to quiet reverence. We begin each service with a re-creation of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem using palms as a symbol of our worship and joyful hope. However, the mood turns somber for he who is acclaimed is then judged as criminal and sentenced to suffering and death. We tell the “Passion Story” of Jesus’ life and last days, reminding us of the reality of human suffering, which leads us to the Three Great Days.
The Three Great Days
Triduum is the ancient Latin title for the three days that complete Holy Week. From sunset on Thursday until sunset on Sunday, we celebrate one extended liturgy; from Maundy Thursday until the Easter Vigil, no service has a close or ending. In the Triduum we celebrate and remember the Christ event, the new Passover that redeems all humankind. Each of the primary liturgies is one of the acts in this holy drama.
April 13 – Maundy Thursday
The First Day
Agape Meal & Liturgy of the Word in Parish Hall followed by Holy Eucharist in the Church and Stripping of the Altar
This Eucharist commemorates Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples in the tradition of the North African desert monasteries. It reflects Jesus’ bittersweet farewell, in which he tells them of his love and makes one last attempt to illustrate the ministry to which he calls them by doing the work of a menial slave in washing their feet. It is this focus that gives the day its name. Mandatum, “commandment” in Latin, became “Maundy” in English. “A new commandment I give, that you love one another as I have loved you.” The service begins in silence, with the Liturgy of the Word inspired by the desert monks and includes optional opportunities to take part in a symbolic rituals of service. We then process, chanting, to the church at the close of the Eucharist. The altar is stripped and all ornamentation removed from the church in preparation for Good Friday. We depart in silence. All are welcome and childcare is available.
Abba John the Little said: No one can build a house from the top down; rather, you build the foundation first and then build upwards. People said to him: What do you mean by that? He said to them: The foundation means your neighbor whom you must win, and you ought to start from there. For all the commandments of Christ depend on this.
– excerpt from Sayings of the Desert Fathers
April 14 – Good Friday
The Second Day
Services focused on “The Adversaries and Companions of Jesus”
Labyrinth 12:00 p.m., Meditation 2:00 p.m., and Tenebrae 7:30 p.m.
Using a service that originated in the third century from Jerusalem, Constantinople, Gaul, and Rome, we will pray together in contemplation of the cross. From 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. we will remember Jesus’ Passion with music and meditations offered by parishioners. At 2:00 p.m. people are invited to walk a devotional Labyrinth Meditation. On Friday night at 7:30 p.m., there will be a Tenebrae-inspired Good Friday office. This is a contemplative service set with the gradual extinguishing of candles and the reading of the Lamentation of Jeremiah.
Tenebrae-inspired Nighttime Office
“Tenebrae” means darkness or shadows in Latin. Traditionally, this was the series of monastic morning and night offices of the Triduum. Our 7:30pm service will be a Tenebrae-inspired Good Friday office. This is a contemplative service set with the gradual extinguishing of candles and the reading of the Lamentation of Jeremiah. It is a meditation on the events of the Lord’s life between the Last Supper and the Resurrection.
Let all mortal flesh keep silence, And with fear and trembling stand; Ponder nothing earthly minded, For with blessing in His hand, Christ our God to earth descendeth Our full homage to demand.
-Cherubic Hymn, 4th Century
April 16 – The Great Vigil of Easter
The Third Day
Holy Eucharist, Baptism and Breakfast
5:30 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.
Begins on the patio with the Great Fire, continues with Baptism and Eucharist in the church followed by breakfast (8:00 a.m.) in the Parish Hall
This is the principal liturgy of the Christian year, the fullest act of Christian worship. It is the Christian Passover, the Paschal feast of the People of God. We gather in darkness and silence on the patio for the rekindling of the New Fire from which the Paschal Candle is lit. There we hear the history of salvation, told in dramatic presentations by various parishioners. Then we process into the church to celebrate baptism, to remember our baptisms, and to celebrate the first Eucharist of Easter. And so, we are raised to new life with Christ. We reach the finale of the liturgical drama, and what happened to each of us when we were baptized is renewed in us together. We are part of the incredible story of God’s salvation that has been going on throughout history.
Pure fasted faces draw unto this feast:
God comes all sweetness to your Lenten lips…
Breathe Easter now; you serged fellowships,
You vigil-keepers with low flames decreased…
God shall o’er-brim the measures you have spent
With oil of gladness…
– Gerard Manley Hopkins, Easter Communion
April 16 – Easter Morning
Easter Breakfast and Family Easter Events
8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Sign up in the Church if you can bring food!
The congregations from both the early morning Vigil and the 10 a.m. Easter Day Eucharist are invited to join us for a breakfast in the Parish Hall. Food and fellowship are shared as we celebrate together the hope and promise of the Resurrection. Children’s activities will commence promptly at 9:15 a.m. on the parish grounds.
Thanks to Thee ever, O gentle Christ; That Thou hast raised me freely from the black; And from the darkness of last night; To the kindly light of this day.
– Celtic Prayer
April 16 – Easter Day
Festive Holy Eucharist
The Festival of the Resurrection continues with a festive celebration of the Eucharist. The choir, with accompaniment, will lead us into a joyful proclamation of new life. Alleluia!
Let every man and woman count herself immortal. Let her catch the revelation of Jesus in his resurrection. Let her say not merely, “Christ is risen,” but “I shall rise.”
– Phillips Brooks