Saint James’ you to attend as many of our Holy Week services as you are able. They dramatically walk us through Jesus’ last days and allow us to more fully enter the story and receive the love poured out for us. The experience of Holy Week also adds to the richness, joy, and bounding hope of Easter.
This service begins our journey toward the cross with Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. His entry is celebrated with the waving of palms in procession (at 8am from the back of the church, at 10:15 from in front of the church).
This Sunday is also called Passion Sunday because of the church’s tendency to read the passion and prepare those who will not be able to attend the weekday Holy Week services between this day and Easter Sunday.
However, this year we will again invite you to stay in the moment of Jesus’ triumphant entry and the zealous ministry that challenged the religious leadership then and challenges us today.
Below you will find photos and video of each service in Holy Week, and Scripture readings for each day of the week. We know that Holy Week can be an overwhelming time, with so many services and so many stories packed into such a short time. We hope that you will reflect on each day, and the power of each moment, at your own pace.
Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Below are the collect and scripture readings for Holy Saturday. You can also read the lectionary for the Great Vigil of Easter, which spans the creation of the universe to the resurrection, here.
O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
“Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” – The Book of Common Prayer
Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. – Book of Common Prayer, page 221
Lord God, whose blessed Son our Savior gave his body to be whipped and his face to be spit upon: Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. – Book of Common Prayer, page 220
O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. –Book of Common Prayer, page 220
Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. –Book of Common Prayer, page 220
If you haven’t read the assignment for tomorrow, fear not. If you haven’t attended the sessions lately, fear not. If you feel guilty, have lost interest, or don’t want to be singled out, fear not!
I hope that all of the 80 parishioners who registered for “Learning More about the New Testament” will attend at least one of the two remaining sessions, if not both. The focus of adult formation at St James’ is to know that God is always with us, to be in community, and to continue our journey of learning more about God and how to be more faithful disciples of Jesus. So, please, come to one of the learning groups this week and next week.
I will be covering the book material and facilitating meaningful conversation, and I will do my best to make each session an event in which you will move deeper in your faith and closer to your fellow parishioners.
Attached is the outline for tomorrow and information about adult formation in the season of Lent and Holy Week.
(scroll down for an outline of The New Testament chapter 9 study guide)
Whether or not your children were able to make it to Sunday school, you can still engage them in this week’s story. Please read the summary, look up the story online, in your bible, or a children’s bible, and begin the discussion. Increasing your child’s biblical knowledge will be foundational in their faith development. What a gift to provide a child! Adults also reap the benefit of digging in deeper to these stories.
In the past seven weeks we have been building toward the Easter story and all that led to Jesus’ arrest, death, and resurrection. So this week, we will pick up where we left off. It was a very sad time for Jesus’ disciples after he died on the cross. It seemed like all their work and effort had come to an end. The man they believed in and had expected to restore God’s Kingdom again in Israel was now dead and buried. What were they going to do? Then the excitement of the news of the resurrection came! Continue reading “What Your Children Learned: April 3”
Come celebrate Easter Day with us! Having completed our journey and walked through the sorrow of Holy Week, we now come ready to experience Easter joy.
Our 10:15 service begins with the children flowering the cross and following behind it in procession. The joyful music fills the space as we tell the story of the empty tomb and the reverberations of that moment throughout history and in our lives. Following the service our children will continue the celebration as they search for Easter eggs.
Possibly the most beautiful service of the church year, the Easter Vigil begins outside in our courtyard with the kindling of a fire from which the paschal candle is lit. From that candle each person lights their candle as the service begins in darkness. While still in the tomb we read of God’s saving work throughout history.
We then enter the sacrament of baptism and as we are pulled from that watery grave, we reign in Easter with the setting and adornment of the altar, lighting the altar candles, organ fanfare, and illuminating the worship area before we celebrate that first Easter Eucharist. The service actually takes us from death to new life and we really experience that Easter moment.
Good Friday | Stations of the Cross, 12pm | Good Friday Liturgy, 7pm
At noon we gather in the nave and tell the story of Christ’s crucifixion as an acolyte moves from station to station as we read and respond to each event. The readings for each station are distributed to members of the congregation prior to the beginning of the service.
Eucharist with foot washing and the stripping of the altar.
There is heaviness in the air as Jesus gathers his closest friends with the knowledge this will be the last meal they will share together on this side of the grave. We also remember that on this night Jesus washed his friends feet and to illustrate his new commandment that we love one another the way that he had loved them. Then after we break bread together for the last time before Easter, we acknowledge Christ’s impending death by stripping the altar and departing in silence. Continue reading “Holy Week | Worship Services”
13 Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, 4 got up from the table,a took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet,b but is entirely clean. And youc are clean, though not all of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.”