Tomorrow we begin what is called the Triduum, or the three days. These holiest days of the Christian year, beginning at sundown Thursday through sundown Sunday, recall the last night of Jesus’ life; his betrayal, arrest, and crucifixion; the emptiness and grief of Saturday; and the joy of the resurrection.Our unique liturgies for these days help us to follow these events in Jesus’ life, and incorporate them into our own.
This is the most demanding week of the year, but it is also my favorite. I’m more excited than usual this year because it will be the first time since 2019 that we have been able to celebrate these liturgies with one another in-person in the church, rather than streaming from our dining room. The services will be live-streamed, but if you can be here in person I urge you to do so.
Here’s the schedule for the rest of this week, and the weeks following Easter.
Thursday, April 14, 7 p.m. — Maundy Thursday. At this service we remember the last night of Jesus’ earthly life, when he gives his followers a new commandment — to love one another. (The word Maundy comes from the Latin “mandatum,” meaning command.) At this service we emulate the two things that Jesus did with his disciples — the washing of their feet and their last supper together, in which Jesus instituted what we now call the Eucharist. The foot washing is optional. The service ends with the stripping of the altar area of all its adornments, leaving the church bare for Good Friday.
Friday, April 15, 7 p.m. — Good Friday. The most solemn service of the year in which we remember Jesus’ execution on the cross.
Saturday, April 16, 7 p.m. — Easter Vigil. This is the Church’s oldest liturgy. We begin in the Memorial Garden at the foot of the cross, where we light and bless the Paschal, or Easter, candle. We then process into the church, passing through the tree of life sculpture. Once in the church we hear the stories of God’s history of salvation, from creation to the resurrection. After the Old Testament readings are finished we proclaim that Lent is over and Christ has risen! After the service we continue the celebration in the parish hall with a cake and champagne reception.
Sunday, April 17, Easter Sunday. We proclaim the resurrection at 8:30 and 10:45. Following the later service there will be a reception and an Easter egg hunt for the children.
Sunday, April 24, 8:30 and 10:45. A Covid Remembrance. As much as we would like for the pandemic to be over, the truth is that hundreds of people continue to die from Covid every day. Our country is edging close to a tragic milestone, a million deaths from Covid since March 2020. To mark that milestone, our services this day will remember those who have died, especially those we know and love. If you have a family member or friend who has died from Covid please send me their names to include in this remembrance.
Sunday, April 24, 9:30 — Adult Sunday School will begin a new series this day of the “Hidden Gems of the Prayer Book.” The Book of Common Prayer is at the heart of worship in the Episcopal Church. But aside from weddings and funerals, most people only know that sliver of the book that we use on Sunday mornings. In these classes we will take a deeper look at our prayer book and discover the treasures that it holds for us. Whether you are a life-long Episcopalian or new to the church you will learn new things in this series.
Sunday, May 1, 10 a.m. Annual parish meeting with Eucharist. We will celebrate our first parish meeting in three years by coming together for ONE SERVICE at 10 a.m. The actual meeting will be incorporated into the service, taking the place of the Liturgy of the Word (scripture readings and sermon). Following the service we will have a potluck lunch in the parish hall. Bring a dish to share.
NOTE: We still need a layreader and usher for the Easter VIgil. If you can serve please let me know.
I’ll send out the service sheets each day for the live streams. Hope to see you tomorrow.