The holiest period of the Christian year is coming: The Triduum, the Three Great Days, the liturgies that move us from Lent into the celebration of Resurrection.
Each day of the Triduum has its liturgy, a remembrance, and re-embodiment of part of the story. At St. Paul’s, we take this opportunity to celebrate one long liturgy, beginning with Palm Sunday and concluding with the Great Vigil of Easter, in order to enter fully into the story of Jesus’ last week, remembering the incredible drama and celebrating the incredible joy. Here’s what the services are, and what they’re for:
Morning Prayer - Each weekday morning at 8:00 am
Our service begins in silence, and includes the reading of scripture, and meditations from variety of sources, including the Book of Common Prayer. Please join us during this season that is meant to be a time to reflect, remember, and pray as we prepare our hearts for Easter.
Evening Prayer - Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 6:30 pm
The service will include prayer, readings from BCP, contemplation, meditation and music from the Taize' Community of France. Please join us for a brief respite of spirituality from our hectic world. This service is led by Glen Stebens.
March 20 – Palm Saturday/Sunday: (5:00 p.m./8:00 a.m. & 9:30 a.m.)
We begin Holy Week remembering Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as the common people shouted “hosanna!” and waved palm branches. The story begins triumphantly, but the liturgy ends with the reading of the Passion: the story of Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion. We are not dismissed on this day; we leave worship singing “Within Our Darkest Night,” which will be the musical thread binding all the Holy Week liturgies together.
March 24 – Maundy Thursday: (Noon and 6:00 p.m.)
This liturgy incorporates the two stories we inherit about what happened at the dinner Jesus had with his disciples before he died. John’s Gospel tells the story of Jesus washing the feet of his friends and giving us the commandment to love one another (that’s the “Maundy” in Maundy Thursday: “Maundy” comes from the Latin maundate, meaning ‘commandment’). The other Gospels tell the story of what came to be known as the “Last Supper”, when Jesus gave his disciples blessed bread and wine, and told them to keep remembering him this way. The liturgy concludes with the stripping of all the decorative elements in the sanctuary, and the beginning of the overnight prayer vigil, which recalls Jesus’ time praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. We depart into the darkness.
March 25 – Good Friday: (Noon and 7:30 p.m.)
We begin our remembrance of the day Jesus died with a quiet noon meditation. Then, in the evening, (7:30 pm) we gather in the rear of our sanctuary, with the cross as our focus, as we sing, pray, and hear readings around the themes of Good Friday. The harsh reality of Jesus’ death at the hands of the powers of his day is remembered with deep love and reverence.
March 26 – The Great Vigil of Easter: (7:30 p.m.)
The Queen of Feasts, the absolute highlight of the Christian year, is this night, when we pass from darkness into light, from death into life, from the old to the new. We light a new fire, from which we light the new Paschal candle, which will burn throughout the Great Fifty Days of Easter as a sign of the light of the resurrected Christ. From that light, we will light all the candles in the church. We’ll hear the foundational stories of Creation, the Flood, and the Exodus, and hear from the prophets about God’s redeeming, renewing work in humankind. We will bless new baptismal water and renew our own baptismal vows, and get sprinkled with the water of new life. Then – the trumpets and tympani sound, the lights come up, and we move to the high Altar for the first Eucharist of Easter. Alleluia! Christ is risen!
March 27 - Easter Sunday: (8:00 a.m. & 10:00 a.m.)
Beauty and joy are the hallmarks of Easter. We celebrate the Resurrection with fabulous music, lots of flowers and candles, incense (at 10:00 a.m.), our most beautiful vestments, and your favorite Easter hymns. Following the 10 a.m. service, the celebration continues on the patio with an egg hunt and activities for kids, and brunch for everyone.
Don’t miss any of it – Holy Week is your story. Holy Week is our story.