Guide to Holy Week



Thorns take the shape of a crown. Popular acclaim turns to public execution. Sorrow and love flow mingled down. Life ends and begins anew. The story of Holy Week is one that has the power to transform our lives and this world.

It is possible to fast-forward to the great celebration of Easter and hear only the proclamation of grace that came on that first, sun-lit morning. But the meaning and the impact of our observance will be deeper and more powerful if we walk faithfully with Christ through his final days.

Join in joyful procession on Palm Sunday and be astonished at how quickly the whole story turns to tragedy. Jesus, the humble king, forever redefines the true nature of power and authority.

On Wednesday evening, join in the fellowship of the Agapé meal, and see how God gives us strength and nourishment for our Christian journey. Then on Maundy Thursday, discover anew the gift of love, expressed most radically through humble, self-giving acts of care and kindness.

The story shifts and the mood changes abruptly on Good Friday, as we enter deeply into the mystery of God’s love revealed fully on the hard wood of the cross: a perfect sacrifice for the whole world, so that all might come within the reach of our Lord’s saving embrace.

Experience the in-between time of Holy Saturday morning, a time when all is quiet and still. Then comes the profound shift from darkness to light at the Great Vigil of Easter, a liturgy of extraordinary depth and beauty, where we receive the prophetic promise: “a new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you.”

On Easter day, Jesus takes us through the experience we call death and shows us beyond it. God goes, in an all-encompassing sweep of mercy, to the darkest places, to undo the powers of sin that hold us captive, and to remake us in his image. Resurrection life breaks into this broken and distracted world, and God’s new creation begins to take shape. This is the ultimate reality the Easter Gospel proclaims.

What follows is an annotated guide to Holy Week.  We encourage you to find your own path through these important days. Come as you’re able and enter deeply into the liturgical remembrances of this week.

Palm Sunday, March 25

7:45 a.m.     Spoken Eucharist in Nave, Rite I

9:00 a.m.    Holy Eucharist, Rite II w/Children’s Liturgy – Nursery Provided

10:00 a.m.  Making of Palm Crosses in Parish Hall

11:00 a.m.   Choral Eucharist in Nave, Rite II – Nursery Provided

6:00 p.m.    Holy Eucharist in Spanish

The 9:00 and 11:00 services begin on the church yard (weather permitting) with the procession of palms. “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord: Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Monday in Holy Week, March 26

7:15 a.m. Spoken Eucharist in Nave

6:00 p.m. Youth-Led Evening Prayer – Nursery Provided

Tuesday in Holy Week, March 27

7:15 a.m. Spoken Eucharist in Nave

6:00 p.m. Service of Tenebrae in Nave – Nursery Provided
Latin for ‘darkness’ or ‘shadows,’ Tenebrae features evening scriptures and contemplative prayers, all while invoking God’s power and protection through the dark hours of night.

Wednesday in Holy Week, March 28

7:15 a.m.  Spoken Eucharist in Nave

6:00 p.m. Agapé Feast in Parish Hall
A family-friendly, celebratory, shared meal and fellowship with festive music and prayers. A simple meal will be provided.

7:00 p.m. Sung Compline
A beautiful, monastic service of evening prayers and anthems will settle the soul and quiet the mind, and send us peacefully into the evening hours.

The “Triduum” or The Great Three Days of Jesus’ Passion, Death, Burial and Resurrection

Maundy Thursday, March 29

6:00 p.m.       Choral Eucharist and the “Mandatum” in Nave w/Children’s Liturgy – Nursery Provided
The word Maundy comes from the Latin mandatum which means commandment. We come to church this night as if to join Jesus in the Upper Room. We reenact Jesus’ demonstration of what it means to love through humbly serving and caring for each other in the washing of feet. At the conclusion of this service, the altar is stripped and a holy vigil is begun. The church is left bare and darkened and the congregation leaves in quiet prayer.

Good Friday, March 30

12:00 p.m.     Stations of the Cross w/Musical Meditations – Nursery provided
A devotion to the Passion of Christ which recalls a series of events at the end of Jesus’ life from his condemnation to his burial. The Way of the Cross imitates the practice of visiting the places of Jesus’ Passion, and is enriched by musical offerings and congregational hymns and prayers.

3:00 p.m. Stations of the Cross for Children
Meet in the Parish Hall

6:00 p.m.     Solemn Liturgy of Good Friday in Nave – Nursery Provided
Good Friday is the most solemn day of the Christian year.  Our prayers and observances call us to follow in the way of Jesus’ passion and death. The remembrance of what Jesus suffered for us cannot fail to arouse in us feelings of grief and sorrow for our share in the brokenness of the world.  Yet the gospel promise of grace sounds through, as we cling tightly to the hope of forgiveness.

Holy Saturday, March 31

9:00 a.m.        Holy Saturday Liturgy in Nave
Holy Saturday is a threshold day, a day of waiting, a day to open ourselves up to the One who goes into the places of our deepest pain and darkest fears in order to bring us out.  This is a brief service of Scripture, prayer, and meditation.

7:30 p.m.     The Great Vigil of Easter in Nave – Nursery Provided
Followed by Festive Reception in Parish Hall
This service begins outdoors in dramatic darkness with the kindling of a new fire, and moves meaningfully into the heart of the Nave in four parts: The Service of Light (passing of light from the Paschal flame); The Service of Lessons (readings from the Hebrew Scriptures that recount our story of salvation); Christian Initiation (Holy Baptism and the renewal of our Baptismal promises) and the first Eucharist and Alleluias of Easter, with heartfelt expressions of praise and exultation.

Easter Day, April 1

The Day of our Lord’s Resurrection
7:45 a.m.      Spoken Eucharist in Nave, Rite I

9:00 a.m.     Family Eucharist in Nave, Rite II – Nursery Provided

10:30 a.m.   Easter Egg Hunt on the St. Peter’s Grounds

11:00 a.m.   Choral Eucharist in Nave w/Incense, Rite II – Nursery Provided

3:00 p.m.    Holy Eucharist in Spanish

Welcome happy morning, age to age shall say! Alleluias, Easter anthems, and favorite hymns for congregation and choir are sung with the incomparable joy of Easter Day.

The full Fifty Day Season that follows Easter Day celebrates what happened in and through the remarkable life of Jesus—what he said and did before he died, and what we believe he accomplished through his death and rising to new life.

There are good reasons to believe, to give one’s heart to God’s Easter mission in this world, and to trust deeply in the One “whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning.”  I pray that you will find your lives and relationships transformed, renewed, and enriched by the comfort and promise of this season.

Easter blessings to you all!