Holy Week & Easter Services
Holy Wednesday ~ April 12th @ 10am ~ St. James
Maundy Thursday ~ April 13th @ 7pm ~ St. Johns
Good Friday ~ April 14th @ 10am ~ Christ Church
Good Friday Ecumenical Walk ~ April 14th @ 2pm ~ St. James (we end our walk at St. Pauls United)
Easter Vigil ~ April 15th @ 7:30pm ~ St. James
Easter Sunday ~ April 16th @ 9am ~ Christ Church
Easter Sunday ~ April 16th @ 9am ~ St. Johns
Easter Sunday ~ April 16th @ 10:30am ~ St. James
What is Holy Week?
Holy Week is the name given to the week that precedes Easter. It commemorates the events of Jesus’ last week culminating in his death on Good Friday and his rising again on Easter Sunday to give new life to all who believe. This week is therefore at the very heart of the Christian faith. As such Christians have developed services to mark the most important events of the week. To better understand the progression of the week, I will briefly outline how we at the Parish of Huntley celebrate Holy Week and Easter.
Maundy Thursday (7 pm at St. Johns) commemorates three events that occurred in a single night. We celebrate the Last Supper in which Jesus inaugurated the central sacrament of our faith, the holy Eucharist by celebrating the Eucharist together. At this meal Jesus also took a towel and water and washed his disciples’ feet. We reenact the washing of the feet by having our own feet washed by the pastor of our community. The third event is the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and the scattering of his disciples. To indicate the arrest and scattering, the altar is stripped, the lights are turned off, and all leave silently and in disarray.
On Good Friday (10am at Christ Church) the liturgy focuses our attention upon the death of Jesus. Appropriately, the ceremonial is stark, direct, and powerful – its meaning is unmistakable. Today is different from any other celebration. The church is bare and St. John’s account of the passion and crucifixion is recited. There is no eucharist celebrated at this service and there will be various opportunities for silence and reflection.
There is an opportunity to meditate on the cross using both silence and music on Good Friday during the Good Friday Ecumenical Walk (2pm at St. James and St. Paul’s United). We begin at St. James Anglican and have a nine meditations that are done between St. James and St. Paul’s on a very short walk between the two churches. A time of Fellowship will follow at St. Paul’s immediately following the service.
The Easter Vigil on Saturday night (7:30pm at St. James) begins with the church in darkness, expectant, seemingly just as it was when we left on Good Friday. The Resurrection of Christ is the act of God which brings the Church into being, and during this first Eucharist of the Resurrection the Church will ritually and, indeed, literally come into being again. It will be “re-built” to become what it was before the desolation and death of Good Friday. Light will enter the Church. The Eucharist will be celebrated once again with joy. In this Eucharist the Church becomes alive again and whole through the power of Christ’s rising. The celebration is completed with a Baptism (the Vigil is historically the time for baptisms to take place) this year and an opportunity for all of us renew our baptismal vows.
We offer three services to celebrate Easter Sunday in the morning. At 9am there are services at St. John’s (with Rev. Monique) and Christ Church (with Bishop Peter) and then at 10:30am at St. James (with Rev. Monique). Each service is a service of joy, celebration and resurrection! Thus while Holy Week is solemn, it concludes with a joyful celebration of God’s saving acts in Jesus Christ.
All are welcome to experience the power of the Easter story at the Anglican Parish of Huntley.