2024 Lent, Holy Week, and Easter

season of lent

LENT SUNDAY SCHOOL
Sundays in march
10:15 AM in the parish hall
LENTEN SOUP SUPPERS
Feb 21, 28, & March 6
6:00–8:00 PM
PARISH HALL

CHILDREN's PROGRAMMING
& NURSERY AVAILABLE
The season of Lent is made up of forty days of fasting and penitence (fun fact: Sundays are always feast days to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord… even in Lent! So the forty days of Lent only include weekdays and Saturdays). The word “Lent” derives from the Old English word for “spring” as the days begin to lengthen. So, while Lent is a season of fasting and penitence, it is also a season of expectation and anticipation of the day Jesus Christ defeated death through his victorious resurrection. We have a number of ways to engage during the Lenten season, including a special Sunday School series and Wednesday night Soup Suppers. There are also some changes to Sunday worship during Lent as we use the liturgy known as Rite I (“And with thy spirit”). Click to learn more.

PALM SUNDAY

SUNDAY, March 24

7:30 AM
SPOKEN HOLY EUCHARIST

9:00 AM
CHORAL HOLY EUCHARIST*
In the Church and livestreamed.

9:10 AM
FOLK HOLY EUCHARIST*
In the Parish Hall and livestreamed after 10:30 AM.

11:15 AM
CHORAL HOLY EUCHARIST*
In the Church.

*Nursery available

Palm Sunday is the first day of Holy Week. Our Holy Week services walk with Jesus, day by day, through the events of the last week of his earthly life. 
 
On Palm Sunday, we recall what happened when Jesus entered Jerusalem a week before his death: “…the great crowd…took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting ‘Hosanna!’ Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (John 12:12-13). 
 
The Celebration of Palm Sunday goes at least as far back as the fourth century in Jerusalem, where people processed from the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem, waving palm branches as they walked. We continue this tradition with our service beginning outdoors, and waving palms and singing as we enter into the church.
 
Starting Location for Palm Sunday Services
7:30 AMMeet in the courtyard. After the Liturgy of the Palms, we will process into the church. 
9:00 & 11:15 AM: Meet in the courtyard. After the Liturgy of the Palms, we will process into the church. 
9:10 AM: Meet in the playground. After the Liturgy of the Palms, we will process through the great lawn into the Parish Hall. 
 
Those with limited mobility are invited to go straight to the church and wait for the procession to arrive.  

HOLY WEEK PRAYER

MORNING PRAYER
Monday–Friday, Feb. 15–March 27
7:30 AM in the church & livestreamed.
EVENING PRAYER
Monday–Friday, Feb. 15–March 27
5:30 PM in the church.

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

Thursday, March 28
7:00 PM IN THE CHURCH & LIVESTREAM

Nursery available

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.  

At this service, after Holy Communion the altar is stripped and all decorative items are removed. Here, we enter into the events leading to the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. We will not celebrate Holy Communion again until Easter Vigil.

ALL NIGHT PRAYER VIGIL

Thursday, March 28–March 29
9:00 PM–7:00 AM
in the church

The 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/2024vigil.

GOOD FRIDAY

Friday, March 29
Noon & 6:00 PM*

in the CHURCH & LIVESTREAMed at Noon

nursery available for 6:00 PM Service

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).

These services feature music and scripture that helps us contemplate the death of Christ. We pray the Solemn Collects, prayers traditionally used on Good Friday. There is no Holy Communion.

holy saturday

SAturday, March 30
10:00 AM
in the church

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.

EASTER EGG HUNT

SAturday, March 30
10:00 AM on the New Playground
We offer a foretaste of the joy of resurrection with a Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday. Bring a basket for egg collection!

EASTER VIGIL

SAturday, March 30
8:00 PM In the Church

nursery available

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

SUNDAY, March 31

7:00 AM
Outdoor sunrise service under the Welcome Center Porte-cochère

9:00 AM*, 11:15 AM*
In the Church : Livestreamed at 9:00 AM.
Services feature scripture, Children’s Chapel (ages 4-9), prayers, sermon and Holy Communion, with special Easter music with choir, organ & brass. 

9:00 AM*, 11:15 AM*
In the Parish Hall : Livestreamed at 11:15 AM.
Services feature scripture, Children’s Chapel (ages 4-9), prayers, sermon and Holy Communion, with folk hymns sung by our band. 

*NURSERY AVAILABLE

Please Note:
No 5:30 PM service on Easter Sunday.

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.

Holy Week: Frequently Asked Questions

Is Holy Week still Lent?
Holy Week is still in the season of Lent, even though we change our liturgical color from purple (signifying penitence) to red (signifying Jesus’s sacrifice for us on the cross). This means the altar is still ad orientem (“to the East”), as we all face the same direction, approaching God humbly, mindful of our sin and God’s mercy.

Holy Week is a time of intense focus on Jesus’s suffering and redemption, as well as the gateway to the resurrection joy of Easter Sunday. In our tradition, we believe that it is important to walk with Christ to the cross, beholding his suffering with quiet gratitude before the celebrations of his resurrection.

Your clergy are still available for the Rite of Reconciliation, often used by Christians during Holy Week. Confess your sins openly without fear of judgment, and hear God’s good word of pardon and absolution. The absolution in these services may be pronounced only by a bishop or priest.
Please note: Another Christian, such as a deacon, may be asked to hear a confession, but it must be made clear to the penitent that absolution will not be pronounced; instead, a declaration of forgiveness is provided. Please email lent@stalbanswaco.org or call the office, 254.752.1773, to schedule an appointment.

What is the “Passion”? Why do we use this word on Palm Sunday and Good Friday?
“Passion” comes from the Latin word “passio,” which means “suffering.” The “Passion Narratives” are the stories in the Gospels that tell the story of Jesus’s final sufferings on behalf of all humankind.

What is Maundy Thursday? (7 PM, March 28)
Maundy Thursday, also called Holy Thursday in some traditions, commemorates the night that Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and instituted the Eucharist (“this is my body, this is my blood”). It is called “Maundy” from the Latin word “mandatum.” In John’s account of the Last Supper, Jesus gives a “mandatum novum,” or “new commandment,” to his disciples: to love one another as Jesus has loved them. We strip the altar at the end of this service to symbolize the stripping of Jesus’s clothing and his abandonment by the disciples before the crucifixion.

What is the All Night Prayer Vigil? (9 PM – 7 AM, March 28 – March 29)
The Prayer Vigil following Maundy Thursday symbolizes Jesus’s plaintive cry to the disciples: “could you not tarry with me one hour? Could you not watch and pray?” And so we “watch and pray,” coming to the church for one hour of prayer and meditation. Please use the QR code found on the next page to sign up for the vigil.

What is Good Friday? (Noon and 6 PM, March 29)
Good Friday commemorates the day of Jesus’s crucifixion. We tell the story of Jesus’s death on the cross by which he destroyed death and won for us salvation and offer special prayers for the whole world. This service is the only day of the year in which the Church does not celebrate Holy Eucharist. The loose plate offering at this service will benefit the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem.

What is Holy Saturday? (10 AM, March 30)
Holy Saturday is a simple, quiet service that evokes a sense of patient waiting until Jesus’s resurrection.

What is the Easter Vigil? (8 PM, March 30)
The Easter Vigil is the first service of Easter, since in Jewish tradition, the day begins at sunset. The readings emphasize the passing from death to life symbolized by the ancient Israelites passing through the Red Sea to liberation and new life. Traditionally, the Church baptized converts to the faith at the Vigil of Easter. The service includes the “new fire” of Easter, the lighting of the Paschal Candle, a beautiful musical proclamation of Easter by the clergy called the Exsultet, many bells and Alleluias, and the first Eucharist of Easter.