Below are descriptions highlighting some of our special Holy Week offerings. The full Holy Week worship schedule is available here.
Palm Sunday, April 9
Sung by the Christ Church Singers, this moving liturgy features chant and unaccompanied choral music from the Renaissance and 21st century centering around the darkness of the crucifixion. Distinguished by the gradual extinguishing of candles at appointed times—a symbol of the oncoming of darkness leading to Good Friday—and the chanting of a portion of the Lamentations of Jeremiah, Tenebrae memorably concludes with the singing of Psalm 51, Miserere mei Deus (Have mercy on me, O God), in near darkness, after which is prescribed a noise evoking the earthquake which took place at the crucifixion. Join us for this beautiful, profound, and unique choral liturgy that wonderfully sets the tone for Holy Week.
The Liturgy of the Day and Holy Eucharist, Rite II
Maundy Thursday, April 13
Preacher: Andrew Krzyak, Seminarian
Holy Eucharist, Foot Washing & Stripping of the Altar: bare and empty for the Good Friday Liturgy. Altar hangings and other moveable ornaments are removed to the sacristy. All remaining candles are extinguished and removed and the lights in the Sanctuary are turned out. This is done in silence. There is no dismissal. The congregation may leave in silence or stay and keep watch at the St. John’s Altar during the Vigil.
Good Friday Three-Hour Service
Good Friday, April 14
Part I: Lament
Meditation: The Rev’d Suzanne M. Culhane
Choir: Men’s voices
Part II: The Liturgy of Good Friday
Meditation: The Rev’d Dr. James B. Lemler
Choirs: Choir of Men & Boys, Christ Church Singers
Part III: Stabat Mater – Pergolesi
Meditation: The Rev’d Jennifer M. Owen
Choir: St. Cecilia Choir of Girls
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying in a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last. (Luke 23:44-46)
Parishioners and people from the community are invited to join the service for an hour or all three hours.
Stations of the Cross
Good Friday, March 14
As you enter some churches you will find Stations of the Cross — a series of pictures hung, or painted, on the church walls which depict stages of the last journey of Christ from Pilate’s house to the tomb. It is, in many places, a popular devotion during Lent or Passiontide to visit the stations to recite prayers and meditate on each stage.
This intergenerational service will walk you through the Stations of the Cross.
The Great Vigil of Easter
Holy Saturday, April 15
Preacher: The Rev’d Dr. James B. Lemler
The Great Vigil of Easter is one of the most ancient liturgies of the Church, dating back to the fourth century. This service leads us from death to life with Christ through fire, light, word, water, and bread and wine. A new fire is kindled, the Pascal Candle is lighted. By its light the Bible is read, prayer and praise are offered, and we celebrate the Easter sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist. At the beginning of the Great Vigil the presider proclaims: Dear friends in Christ: On this most holy night, in which our Lord Jesus passed over from death to life, the Church invites her members, dispersed throughout the world, to gather in vigil and prayer. For this is the Passover of the Lord, in which, by hearing his Word and celebrating his Sacraments, we share in his victory over death.