Holy Week at St. Mary’s2019-04-16T22:38:00-04:00

Holy Week is a journey to the cross.  We have services every day, each one unique in its focus on Christ’s path leading up to his death.

The journey begins on Palm Sunday and the services of Holy Eucharist and Tenebrae, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Then the Triduum – Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday – recalls the passion, death, and burial of Jesus, as portrayed in the canonical Gospels.

Join us this week to remember and experience the power of Christ’s journey to his death and resurrection on Easter day.

Palm Sunday – April 14th at 7:30, 9:00, 11:15 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. – We celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. On this day we process around the church with palm branches to remember the crowds that greeted Christ and laid palm branches at his feet.  This year, at 9:00 a.m., our youth will enact the Passion in the Nave.

Morning Holy Eucharist – 7:30 a.m. Mon, April 15 through Wed, April 17.  – We celebrate Holy Eucharist the first part of the week. This allows us to start our day remembering Christ and his work in our lives.

Evening Tenebrae –  8:00 p.m. Mon, April 15 through Wed, April 17 – Tenebrae is Latin for darkness. A singular feature of this service is the fact that as the chants and readings progress, candles are gradually extinguished. Here, in the darkened church, we will extinguish all the lights until only one candle remains.  The purpose of the service is to recreate the betrayal, abandonment, and agony of the events of Holy Week, and it is left unfinished because the story isn’t over until Easter Day. The atmosphere of this service is monastic and it invites your participation and quiet reflection.


Maundy Thursday – April 18 at 11:00 a.m., 5:30 p.m. (children’s service) and 7:30 p.m. (Choral Eucharist) – This Thursday begins the Triduum, or three holy days before Easter. It comes from the Latin “mandatum novum,”  new commandment, Jn 13:34. The ceremony of washing feet, occurring during the 7:30 p.m. liturgy, was also referred to as “the Maundy.” Maundy Thursday celebrations also commemorate the institution of the Eucharist by Jesus “on the night he was betrayed.”  At the conclusion of the evening service, the altar is stripped, all decorative furnishings are removed from the church, and the remaining sacrament is processed to the chapel for the Vigil.

All Night Vigil – Thursday, April 18 from 9:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. Friday, April 19 – We hold vigil in the chapel with the reserve sacrament to remember when Christ asked, “Could you not keep watch with me for one hour?” Mt. 26:40  If you would like to participate in this vigil, there is a sign-up in the Narthex.  Or, if you are so moved, come watch at any hour during the night. A Guard will be on the premises.  The vigil concludes with a service of Proper Liturgy & Mass of the PreSanctified at 7:00 a.m. Good Friday morning.

Good Friday – April 19 at 7:00 a.m., Noon, 5:45 p.m. (children’s service) and 7:30 p.m. – The Friday before Easter Day, we commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus.  The liturgy of the day includes John’s account of the Passion, a form of intercession known as the solemn collects (dating from ancient Rome), and optional devotions before the cross.  We observe the three hours from noon to 3:00 p.m. our Lord hung on the cross with meditation, prayer and a procession of the cross; the service is structured so people may come and go as they are able. At 5:45 p.m. there is a children’s liturgy with age-appropriate reflections on Jesus’ passion and death.

Holy Saturday – April 20 at 9:30 a.m. – The Saturday after Good Friday recalls the day when the crucified Christ visited among the dead while his body lay in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. In the Episcopal Church, there is no Eucharist on Holy Saturday. The Book of Common Prayer provides a simple liturgy of the word with collect and readings for the Holy Saturday service.