Holy Week Services
From early times Christians have observed the week before Easter as a time of special devotion. As the pilgrim Egeria recorded in the late fourth century, Jerusalem contained many sacred places that were sites for devotion and liturgy. Numerous pilgrims to the holy city followed the path of Jesus in his last days. They formed processions, worshipped where Christ suffered and died, and venerated relics. From this beginning evolved the rites we observe today on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. These services provide a liturgical experience of the last days of Jesus’ earthly life, as well as the time and events leading up to his resurrection. The three holy days, or Triduum, of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday are at the heart of the Holy Week observance. In many Episcopal parishes, the liturgical color for Holy Week from Palm Sunday through Maundy Thursday is red. Holy Week ends at sundown on the Saturday before Easter, or with the celebration of the Easter Vigil. (Definition from The Episcopal Church Glossary).
Church Open for Individual Prayer During Holy Week
During Holy Week, the church and Memorial Garden will be open and available for quiet prayer and silent meditation. We ask that you please observe proper distancing, wear masks, and limit your time to thirty minutes. Below are the days and times the church will be open.
Holy Monday | 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Holy Tuesday | 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Holy Wednesday | 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Maundy Thursday | 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Good Friday | 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Holy Saturday | 10:00 a.m. to noon (Memorial Garden only)
Palm Pickup | Saturday, March 27th Between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Prepare for Palm Sunday, which includes the Blessing of the Palms, by picking up or collecting palms for your household. 1) from your own yard, cut a leafy branch for use during the service; 2) retrieve a palm from St. Paul’s. Palms will be available on the Breezeway of St. Paul’s (on Grace Street) between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Please take one palm per individual.
Palm Sunday Worship and Blessing of the Palms | Sunday, March 28 @ 10:00 a.m. | Live-streamed on Facebook and website
Join us for this powerful service. Our preacher will be the Rev. Ben Campbell.
Service of Tenebrae | Wednesday, March 31st @ 7:00 p.m. | Live-streamed on Facebook and website
Our experience of Jesus’ suffering is deepened in this service of “Shadows,” using traditional chants and expressions of lament from the Hebrew Scriptures, led by the Men of the St. Paul’s Choir.
Maundy Thursday Service | Thursday, April 1st @ 7:00 p.m. | Live-streamed on Facebook and website
Special note about Maundy Thursday: The Maundy Thursday service is intended to be a very interactive service that typically includes Holy Communion, foot washing, and stripping of the altar. Here are a few things you can do at home to make the experience more engaging and interactive:
Agape Meal: When Jesus shared Passover with his disciples, it was in the home tradition and setting of the Passover meal. The washing of feet, the sharing of bread and wine, and the new commandment to love one another all happened in a home, in a room where Jesus drew his friends together as host, teacher, friend, and master who was there to serve them all. Before our service on Maundy Thursday, you may consider participating in a ceremonial meal. Options for elaborate or simple services for the Agape Meal and preparation are found here. Feel free to adapt to your own setting and context.
Foot-Washing: Plan to participate in the foot-washing with members of your household, or on your own. Simply have a basin, a pitcher of warm water, and some towels nearby. This is a great thing to do with partners, spouses, and children and represents the love that Jesus showed his disciples in washing their feet. You can also wash your own feet, imagining the warm hands of Jesus holding you in love and care.
Good Friday Service | Friday, April 2nd @ 12:00 p.m. | Live-streamed on Facebook and website
We stand at the foot of Jesus’ cross to lament the suffering that violence produces and to receive again the promise of God’s undying love for us.
Holy Saturday Service | Saturday, April 3rd @ 9:30 a.m. | Live-streamed Facebook Live only
A brief service of remembrance as we keep watch at the place of Jesus’ burial.
Great Vigil of Easter | Saturday, April 3rd @ 7:00 p.m. | Outdoor, in-person service in the Memorial Garden and live-streamed
After sunset, we huddle in the dark and look forward to the coming of Easter. We light the Pascal candle and hear again the stories of God’s continuing care for us. In the early church, this was the traditional time of Baptism for new converts, looking forward to their first celebration of Eucharist on Easter morning. Registration Required (30 person limit). Click Here to RSVP. or call the church office to make a reservation at 804-545-5405.
Easter Sunday | Sunday, April 4th @ 10:00 a.m. | In-Person and Online details coming soon
Joyfully celebrating Easter together online AND in-person! The bishop has updated the guidelines for in-person, indoor worship, and we are now able to offer reduced capacity seating (approx. 50-60 persons) for an in-person Easter service inside the Church (registration is required). We will also offer Holy Communion of one kind (bread only) both during and following the service.
What Easter will look like this year:
- 10:00 a.m. Easter Worship Service offered in-person indoors (with pre-registration) and simultaneous online live-stream on Facebook and website.
- We will offer Holy Communion (bread only) during the in-person service.
- We will also offer the opportunity to receive Holy Communion with an Easter Blessing in the Memorial Garden after the service from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for anyone who would like who did not attend the service. You do not need to register for this.
Check out our indoor worship guidelines to know what to expect HERE. Please only attend worship and receive communion if you are healthy and non-symptomatic with COVID-19 or any other transmittable disease that could compromise the health of another congregant.
Click the link HERE to register. If the registration is full, we will have a waitlist which you can sign up for through the same process in case someone cancels their attendance. If you have any trouble registering, please contact Carter at the church office at 804-545-5401.