Holy Week and Easter Services
The more we participate in the events of Holy Week, the richer will be our Easter experience. We do this so that we may live the Christian faith in depth and experience joy in doing so. We look forward to a most wonderful Easter. I hope that all of you will participate fully.
Fr. Robert J. Gaestel
March 20, 7:45 & 10:15 a.m
Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday which marks the beginning of Jesus journey to his death on Calvary and his resurrection on the Third Day. On Palm Sunday we focus on two events, Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem, followed by an account of his Passion and death in one of the synoptic Gospels. Palm Sunday is a very important day. For many people who don’t participate in the rest of Holy Week, it may be the only time they hear the story of the Christ’s death and reflect on it. In the end, things come full circle in that the palm crosses left over from the liturgy are gathered and stored. Next year they will be burned to become the ashes used on Ash Wednesday.
On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Holy Week, we gather in the Parish Hall for a simple meal. We eat in silence while listening to readings and reflections from the Christian Tradition and contemporary concerns. It is as if we too are in the upper room with the first disciples listening to Jesus speak to us through these readings and through the words of the Gospel of John. We conclude with a Eucharist around the table.
The Paschal Triduum or the Three Great Days
Maundy Thursday, March 24, 7pm: We celebrate the Liturgy. I wash the feet of those who wish to participate. We conclude with the stripping of the Altar and the darkening of the Church.
Good Friday, March 25, 12pm: The Liturgy includes the Passion according to St. John, the Solemn Collects for the Church and the World, and the Mass of the Pre-Sanctified where we consume the Sacrament consecrated on Maundy Thursday and placed on the Altar of Repose. The liturgy concludes around 1:30pm.
Preparations on Holy Saturday, March 26 Preparing the Church, the breakfast, and the Easter Eggs is a wonderful opportunity for parishioners to enjoy one another in an atmosphere of fun and anticipation. You are all urged to come by and help out.
Great Vigil of Easter, March 27, 5:45 a.m. The Easter Vigil is the central and most important Liturgy of the entire Church year. Everything we do as Christians has its foundation here.
We begin the Great Vigil with the Liturgy of the Light, the New Fire being kindled in the Church by one of our parish children. The wonder of this liturgy is made palpable for us as the Resurrection window gradually fills with light as we hear the stories of God’s mighty acts to save his people.
If we are lucky, by the time we get to the baptism, the sun comes over the hill, streams through the back windows, and floods the Church with light as we cry, “Alleluia, Christ is Risen!” After the Eucharist, we emerge into the new day to Easter Eggs and our parish breakfast.
The children in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd are in Church for the Exsultet then go to the atriums for their own Liturgy of the Light.
Festal Choral Eucharist at 10:15 a.m. We’ll conclude Easter Day with this liturgy at our normal worship time. There will be childcare, and following the service there will be Easter Eggs for the young and young at heart to hunt, and coffee hour as well.