Holy Week 2019 begins on Palm Sunday, April 14. There will be a full schedule of services you can avail yourself of during Holy Week which will help make your celebration of Easter Day more glorious and meaningful.
Sunday of the Passion (Palm Sunday), April 14, 7:45 a.m. and 10 a.m.
This day celebrates our Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the last stage of his journey to the cross, riding a little donkey. This was in fulfillment of Scripture found in Zechariah 9:9, “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Believing that Jesus was the Messiah who would finally free Israel from the hated Romans, crowds of people lined the roads. They laid their cloaks upon the road in front of him and strewed palm branches along his path. They hailed and praised him as the “King who comes in the name of the Lord” as he rode to the temple, where he taught the people, healed them, and drove out the money-changers and merchants. But the people did not welcome him as the Savior God meant him to be and as the week went on and he did not fulfill their expectations they turned against him. Those who hailed him on this day would soon reject and abandon him.
At the services on this day we will bless and distribute palm branches and palm crosses and read the narrative of Jesus’ Passion. The Liturgy of the Palms will be held in the church proper for the 7:45 service and in the parish hall for the 10 a.m. service
Wednesday in Holy Week, April 17, 6:00 p.m.
On this day a service of Compline will take place in the church led by Cal and Chris Shmeickel (spelling). Compline is the final service of the Daily Office based on the Monastic Offices or canonical hours. The word “compline” is derived from the Latin “completorium” as this service is the completion of the working day. The office of Compline emphasizes spiritual peace and, in many monasteries, the “Great Silence” begins immediately after Compline and silence is observed throughout the night until the morning service the next day.
Maundy Thursday, April 18, 7:00 p.m, (supper served from 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.)
This is the night on which Jesus met with his disciples in the upper room for the Last Supper, washed their feet, instituted the Lord’s Supper (Holy Eucharist) and commanded them to “love one another. After the meal he went to the Garden of Gethsemane with Peter, James and John where he prayed and was eventually arrested. The name “Maundy” comes from the Latin word “mandatum” which in English means “commandment.”
As part of this liturgy Father Jim will wash the feet of all in the congregation who come forward. In this way he will emulate Jesus washing the feet of the disciples as a symbol that his role is to be a “servant” to the congregation.
After the celebration of Holy Eucharist, any reserved bread and wine will be taken to an “altar of repose.” This bread and wine is used for the administration of Holy Communion on Good Friday (Holy Eucharist is never celebrated on Good Friday). Then the church will be darkened and all hangings, crosses, processional torches and any other bright or colorful objects will be ceremonially removed from the sanctuary and chancel while the choir softly sings appropriate hymns. Once the altar and sanctuary are completely stripped, the choir will sing one last piece of music and we will exit the church in darkness and silence.
In order to make it easier for folks to attend this service Fr. Jim will be preparing a “parish supper” of baked penne. There will be gluten free and vegetarian options. The Hospitality Committee will be providing salad and beverages.
Good Friday, April 19, 12 noon, 6 p.m., and 7 p.m.
This is the day on which Jesus was crucified. There will be two services of the Stations (Way) of the Cross at 12 noon and 6:00 p.m. The Stations or Way of the Cross are a series of pictorial representations in the church which trace Jesus’ path from his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane to his death on Golgotha and his burial in the tomb. There are fourteen stations in this symbolic pilgrimage where we walk with Jesus to his death. The noontime service will be taken from The Book of Occasional Services and led by Fr. Jim. The 6 p.m. service will be led by Nita Kohanski, utilizing mediations that she has written.
Following the 6 p.m. service there will be a brief interlude and at 7 p.m. Fr. Jim will officiate over the Proper Liturgy for Good Friday. At this service we will again hear the Passion of our Lord taken from John’s Gospel. Then there is a section of Solemn Collects (prayers) which remind us of our need for Christ Jesus’ selfless love, and a veneration of a wooden cross. The liturgy concludes with a Confession of sin, the Lord’s Prayer and Holy Communion from the Reserve Sacrament at which point all the previously consecrated bread and wine is consumed.
Holy Saturday, April 20, 10 a.m.
There will be a brief service of lessons, prayers and homily which keep us in mind of Jesus’ death and burial as we await the glory of his rising on Easter Day.
Easter Day, April 21, 7:45 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Easter Day, the Feast of the Resurrection, is the highest Holy Day in the Church Calendar. It begins with the lighting of the Paschal Candle which celebrates Jesus, the Light of the World, rising from the tomb, victorious over death which brings us salvation and restores us to a right relationship with God. New Sacramental bread and wine is consecrated at these services.