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Holy Week/Easter Services

Holy Week marks the events of Christ’s life beginning with His joyous triumphal entry into Jerusalem and ending with the somberness of crucifixion and death. The theme of Holy Week is one of passion, ultimate love and caring.

Tenebrae, Wednesday, March 31, 7:30 p.m. The name Tenebrae is the Latin word for “darkness” or “shadows.” During this service of the word, with which Lucille Rossignol will assist, we experience only a small portion of Christ’s pain and suffering the day of His crucifixion. One of the most conspicuous features of the service is the gradual extinguishing of candles until only a single candle, considered a symbol of our Lord, remains. Toward the end of the service, the Christ candle is hidden, typifying the apparent victory of the forces of evil over good. At the very end, a loud noise is made, symbolizing the earthquake at the time of his death (Matthew 27) and his resurrection (Matthew 28:2). The hidden candle is then restored to its place, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. By this single light we all depart this service in silence.

Maundy Thursday, April 1, 7:30 p.m. We get the word Maundy from the Latin “mandate” to command. This service, in which St. Mary’s adult choir will participate, recalls two events in the life of Jesus. First, we recall the Last Supper when Jesus broke bread with the disciples in the Upper Room and said, “Do this for the remembrance of me.” In the Eucharist we have the promise of Christ’s presence with us. Secondly, we recall that Jesus washed the disciples’ feet and commanded them to follow his example of love and humble service. In the foot washing we have the model of ministry of servant hood. At the conclusion of this memorable service, we strip the altar.

Good Friday—The Way of the Cross, April 2, 12:00 noon The devotion known as the Way of the Cross is an adaptation to local usage of a custom widely observed by the pilgrims to Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, the pilgrims offer a prayer at a series of places traditionally associated with our Lord’s passion and death. At Saint Mary’s, the children of the parish will assist us in this service which includes walking throughout the parish grounds, observing moments of Biblical reflection and contemplative prayer. The service begins and ends in the church.

Good Friday Liturgy, April 2, 7:30 p.m. A solemn service of the word beginning with a reading from the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John and followed by a service of evening prayer using the Solemn Collects which date from the third century. In these prayers is a bid to the congregation for silent prayer concluding with a collect. The service ends with Anthems said before the Cross and the Lord’s Prayer.

Easter Sunday, April 4, 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. The 8:00 a.m. service will be a service of the word. Immediately following the 10:00 a.m. service, there will be an Easter Egg Hunt for grades K-6. Meet under the big tree on the front lawn. The rain date is April 11.

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