Holy Week and Easter

Beginning with celebratory and solemn Palm Sunday, Holy Week is an opportunity to contemplate the days before Jesus' crucifixion and Resurrection through liturgy and music, culminating in the Easter Vigil on Saturday evening. There are many opportunities for worship and contemplation at Holy Spirit this Holy Week.

 

Palm Sunday, April 14; Services at 8 am and 10:15 am

A day of contrasts, Palm Sunday begins with joyous choruses of "Hosanna," welcoming the one who comes in the name of the Lord. The dramatic liturgy turns from joy to sorrow, from rising to dying, from fidelity to betrayal. Hearing the Passion Narrative, we turn our faces toward the dark days of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

We enter Holy Week today with prayers, music, and ceremonies that would be recognized by ancient pilgrims to Jerusalem walking the way of the cross. This is not merely the story of Jerusalem two thousand years ago--it is our story, too. We have a part in this great act by which God redeems the whole of creation through Jesus Christ. Today we are part of the passion of Christ and through it we see the reality of God's saving action in our lives.

Hosanna means "save us." The jarring intersection of triumph and defeat encompassed in this worship shows us that when the power of self and the powers of this world fail utterly it is in this humble, frail Jesus of Nazareth that the power of God is revealed. We shout hosanna not knowing what it will bring. It brings the cross, at once a terrible death and a throne of mercy for us. We are the children whom God so loved that the only Son was sent to live and die as one of us. There is no moment of defeat, of alienation, of brokenness, or even of death itself that can keep God from us. The Palm Sunday service ends in silence, with this hope of love claiming us.

 

Holy Eucharist on Maundy Thursday with Foot Washing, April 18; 7 pm

Maundy Thursday Soup Supper, 6 pm in the parish hall

Our evening begins in the parish hall at 6 p.m. with a simple soup supper. All are welcome to partake.

Every Christian Eucharistic meal follows the pattern Jesus instituted on this night when, sharing a Passover meal with his disciples, he broke bread and shared a cup. We join in the mystery of his promise that whenever we do likewise, we experience his abiding and redemptive presence among us. We wash one another's feet, as Jesus washed the feet of his disciple, Peter; a reminder that to follow Jesus is to serve one another. In a dramatic moment, the altar of the church is stripped bare of all its furnishings, reminding us of the starkness of what will occur on Friday.

All Night Maundy Thursday Prayer Vigil

A silent vigil of prayer and meditation through the night before the reserved Sacrament concluding at 7 am on Good Friday.

 

Liturgy of Good Friday, April 19; 12 noon

On this, the most solemn day of the Christian year, we remember the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross. In prayers, anthems, Scripture, and song, we hear God's word proclaimed and preached, experience the cross as a focus for meditation and prayer, and receive Holy Communion from the reserved Sacrament.

A period of silence will follow the service in the church for half an hour.

 

The Great Vigil of Easter, April 20; 7:30 pm

We gather tonight to celebrate the deepest, most important truth we know--that in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God has entered into our world to bring hope, healing, and new life. Jesus embodied God's unstoppable love so completely that he became a threat to nearly everyone around him, and he was hung on a cross for refusing to compromise or set limits on that love.

Tonight the church proclaims that death was not the last word for him, that God raised him to new life, and in doing that has opened the possibility of healing and hope for everyone.

Easter promises that, as with the first disciples, we too can know this risen Lord and can find our lives being filled with his life. So our celebration tonight is not simply about an event long ago, but about how the miracle of resurrection can take place in us.

A special reception follows the service in the parish hall which includes "make-your-own Easter sundaes" and a very Anglican spot of sherry.

 

Easter Sunday Choral Eucharists, April 21; 9 am and 11 am

A festive celebration of the Eucharist with Easter hymns and other music by the Choir, followed by a special coffee hour. The 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services are identical.

The Lord is risen! The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia! The disciples' Easter proclamation becomes our Resurrection song. Holy Spirit is transformed with joyous music and beautiful flowers, expressions of the grace and triumph of Christ's glorious resurrection.

We gather this morning to celebrate the deepest, most important truth we know--that in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God has entered into our world to bring hope, healing, and new life. Jesus embodied God's unstoppable love so completely that he became a threat to nearly everyone around him, and he was hung on a cross for refusing to compromise or set limits on that love. Today the church proclaims that death was not the last word for him, that God raised him to new life, and in doing that has opened the possibility of healing and hope for everyone.

The Easter celebrations continue for 50 days until the day of Pentecost. Join us Sundays at 8 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church.

 

Nursery provided at the Maundy Thursday, Easter Vigil and the 9 a.m. Easter Sunday services.