Holy Week is a special time of devotion as we pass through what is known as the Triduum (three days) or holy days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. In this week, we journey with Jesus from the triumphal entry into Jerusalem celebrated on Palm Sunday through Jesus’ arrest, crucifixion, death, and burial.
We offer Morning Prayer throughout Holy Week, as well as Evening Prayer in the weekdays leading up to the heart of Holy Week in the Triduum.
Maundy Thursday begins the Triduum, marking three days before Easter, and recalls Jesus’ last night on earth. Its name comes from the Latin mandatum novum, “new commandment,” from John 13:34: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.” This solemn day also marks the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples, where, before he was betrayed, Jesus instituted the practice of Holy Communion (also known as the Lord’s Supper or the Holy Eucharist) for all Christians.
The Maundy Thursday all night prayer vigil, sometimes referred to as the Vigil of Final Hours, begins at the end of Maundy Thursday with parishioners praying in the church into the wee hours of Friday morning. In one hour increments, we keep vigil with Jesus as he is arrested, beaten, and prepared for crucifixion.
Parishioners are invited to sign up for an hour to pray in the church or at home: bit.ly/vigil23.
Good Friday might be a strange name for the day we recall Jesus’ death on the cross. This day is good because in it we celebrate that “Our heavenly Father sent his Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved; that all who believe in him might be delivered from the power of sin and death, and become heirs with him of everlasting life” (BCP, 277).
Holy Saturday marks the day the Jesus Christ was laid in the tomb and, according to the Apostle’s Creed, descended to the dead in order to liberate humanity from the shackles of death. We mark this day with a short liturgy.
We offer a foretaste of the joy of resurrection with a Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday. Bring a basket for egg collection!
The Easter Vigil serves as the climax of Holy Week. The service itself mirrors the darkness of Holy Saturday to the sunrise of resurrection Sunday by moving in the service from darkness to light and sacramentally participates in dying and rising into new life through baptisms and the renewal of our baptismal covenants. One of the most ancient practices of the Church, the Easter Vigil ties closely together the resurrection of Jesus with the baptism waters.
This services begins outside with the lighting of the Easter fire and then processes by candlelight into the church.
The Easter Vigil features several readings, unique music, and typically lasts around two hours.
Easter Sunday, also known as Resurrection Sunday, celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who overcame death and made a way for us to live forever in God’s presence by liberating us from sin and death.
These morning services follow the familiar rhythm of our Sunday liturgies, but with added trumpets, alleluias, and joyous celebration.
Families of young children are invited to bring along flowers to flower the cross as they enter into the church through the Welcome Center.