Holy Week is a special time in the life of the church—when we observe Jesus’ last week. It’s a time to hear the story of his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, Judas’ betrayal, washing the feet of the disciples, sharing the passover meal that now takes on new meaning, Jesus’ arrest and execution, and finally of his resurrection.
This year, Holy Week will begin on April 14th with Palm Sunday and finish on April 21st with Easter Sunday. You are invited to join us for any and all the services during this week. Here’s our schedule of services:
- Sunday, April 14th Palm Sunday: 8:45 AM Traditional Service & 11:15 AM Informal Service
- Wednesday, April 17th Tenebrae: 8:30 PM
- Thursday, April 18th Maundy Thursday: 6:00 PM
- Thursday 7:00 PM – Friday 7:00 AM Overnight Prayer Vigil
- Friday, April 19th Good Friday: 12:00 PM
- Friday 5:30 PM Stations of the Cross
- Saturday, April 20th The Great Vigil of Easter: 10:00 PM
- Sunday, April 21st Easter Sunday: 8:45 AM Traditional Service & 11:15 AM Informal Service
To help you know what to expect at each service, please see the detailed descriptions below. If you are visiting Apostles Anglican Church for the first time, you may find the following links to be helpful:
- Where is Apostles Anglican Church located?
- Who is your pastor?
- What should I expect if I visit?
- Who can I contact now if I have more questions?
On Palm Sunday, the service begins outside. As you arrive, make sure you get a palm frond and a service bulletin. This service starts with the liturgy of the palms, where we rehearse Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem where he is celebrated as the Messiah. Palm Sunday is also called Passion Sunday becuase the Gospel reading will be the passion narrative—Jesus’ death on the cross. If you need childcare, please arrive well before the service so that you don’t miss the opening procession.
Tenebrae is on Wednesday. It’s a service of darkness—that’s why it begins at sundown. In this service, the lights will grow darker and darker as candles are extinguished. This symbolizes the darkness that is decending around Jesus during his betrayal, arrest, and trial. The last candle is hidden and the service ends with a loud sound—so please be aware of the jarring experience. The lights will be raised for exiting the service. There is no childcare.
Maundy Thursday is so named for the latin word for “commandment.” The service is a remembrance of Jesus’ Last Supper—when he both institutes Holy Eucharist and commands the disciples to wash each other’s feet. This was an ancient practice of hospitality and humble service. Just as Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, attendees are invited to come to the front and wash the feet of one another. The service ends symbolically with the stripping of the altar. This is where all the decorations and vessels are removed from the altar area and the cross is shrouded in a black cloth—symbols for Jesus being stripped and beaten. Childcare will be provided.
You are also invited to participate in an overnight prayer vigil that begins following the service. Just as the disciples were to stay awake with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, so we too are invited to stay awake for one hour during the night and be in prayer.
Good Friday is a stark service. The altar is bare. There is no Eucharist. It is a remembrance of Jesus’ death on the cross and the devestating reality of his sacrifice. Childcare is provided for this service.
You are also invited to return at 5:30pm for the Stations of the Cross. This is a time to move through the fourteen stations around our Nave and meditate on Jesus’ sacrifice.
On Saturday, though there is no worship service this year, we also observe Holy Saturday—the day Jesus was absent from the world. This mirrors the expereince we have from time to time, when God feels far away and absent from us.
The Great Vigil of Easter is an ancient custom—to begin to celebrate the resurrection as soon as possible. The service begins outside with an elemental fire being lit. This symbolizes the spark of life and light entering the world at the moment of Jesus’ resurrection. The service continues with a procession inside to a darkened church, where there’s incense and beeswax candles. This is traditionally a baptismal service. The readings for this service carry us through the sweeping salvation narrative. There is no childcare.
This year, we will throw a party following the service. So, come expecting food, drink, and dessert!
Easter Sunday will be celebrated at our normal service times. Childcare is provided. We celebrate Easter with the waters of baptism getting sprinkled on the congregation, beautiful flowers decorating the church, and an Easter Egg hunt for kids out on the lawn at 10:30 AM. Come and join the celebration!