Holy Week and Easter at St. Paul’s

A full list of our Holy Week + Easter Offerings is below!Holy Week is the most important week of the Christian Year, as we gather to re-tell the story of Jesus’ final days.  The best way to think about Holy Week is as “one service, telling one story, held over eight days.” Holy Week worship features unique elements that don’t recur at any other time of the year.  Whether you are new to church or have been retelling these stories for many decades, we hope these services will offer you new understandings and appreciations of Jesus’ Way of Love. Please join us!

Palm Sunday, March 24
10:00 a.m. Palm Sunday Procession and Holy Eucharist
Rev. Chris Wendell, preacher

The service begins in the Parish Hall with the Blessing and Distribution of Palms, followed by the whole congregation processing around the property into the Sanctuary, this year to bagpipe accompaniment!  At the time of the Gospel, we will hear the Passion Story, read in parts. Children’s Ministry and Middle School Youth Group will be offered following the Palm Parade, until they return to church for Holy Communion.

Tuesday, March 26
7:30 p.m. Contemplative Taizé Prayer Service in the Chapel

All are invited for a Holy Week Taizé Prayer Service. Based on the worship of the ecumenical Christian monastic community in Taizé, France, Taizé Prayer Services have a strong meditative quality. They are comprised of silence and song, candlelight and stillness, prayer and contemplation. Taizé can be a beautiful and powerful way to pray, especially as we journey through Holy Week. Please note: incense will be used at this service. 

Wednesday, March 27
Stations of the Cross available from 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
St. Paul’s beautiful set of Stations of the Cross will be available in the Sanctuary for individual viewing during the day on Wednesday in Holy Week. These stations, titled “The Folly of God” and painted by the artist Sieger Koder, depict the traditional moments of Jesus’ final day – but using very non-traditional imagery. The images are both contemporary and timeless, and help connect the story of Jesus’ passion to the suffering of all those who yearn for justice and compassion in a world of brutality and violence. Calling to mind many of the worlds’ liberation movements, a walk through these stations will help expand your sense of how we make sense of Jesus’s suffering, death, and rising. A booklet of simple prayers and poems will be available to use as you walk the stations. You can complete the stations in as little as 15 minutes, or take as long as you like.

Maundy Thursday, March 28
Holy Eucharist with Foot-washing & Stripping of the Altar at 7:30 p.m.This is one of the most intimate and beautiful services of the Christian year.  Come to remember Jesus’ last supper with his closest friends, to share in the ritual foot-washing, to process the consecrated elements to the Garden of Repose, and to watch the gentle and sacred stripping of the altar. All ages are warmly welcome to attend! This service lasts about an hour.

Overnight Watch in the Garden of Repose
Volunteers are needed to help our parish keep the Watch, an overnight vigil the Chapel from Maundy Thursday into Good Friday. Please sign up to come to church and spend an hour in reflection and prayer in the beautiful chapel garden with the consecrated bread and wine. Keeping the Watch is an ancient tradition, and a good way to take stock of the year as we approach Easter. Please sign up here.

Good Friday, March 29
Children’s Interactive Holy Week Service @ 4:30 p.m.All children of the parish are invited to our Interactive Holy Week Service with Molly. Together we will explore five interactive and age-appropriate “stations” that tell the stories of holy week: Jesus turning over the tables in the Temple, the foot-washing, the Last Supper, the story of Jesus’ dying, and his rising from the dead. Each station will have an interactive feature to help children engage with a central aspect of the story. The service is most appropriate for Pre-K and Elementary aged kids and their parents/caregivers – but, as always, all are welcome! We expect the service will last about 45 minutes. Pizza and Passion” @ 6:00 p.m. for the Middle School Youth GroupJoin Rev. Chris for some meat-less pizza in the Parish Hall on Good Friday.  We’ll read through the story of Jesus’ last days together, each taking different parts. We’ll stop frequently to discuss what exactly is happening and why, and to talk through questions!  Please RSVP to Suzanne Johnson if you’re coming!The Proper Liturgy for Good Friday @ 7:30 p.m.A simple, stark service featuring the Passion according to St. John, Sermon, Choir anthem, the Solemn Collects and prayers before the Cross. Communion from the Reserved Sacrament will be offered. This service lasts about an hour.

Holy Saturday, March 30
Donuts and Decorating the Church at 8:45 a.m.
The Great Vigil of Easter @ 7:30 p.m. with Baptism, Eucharist, and Choir!The Great Vigil of Easter is the highlight of the church year.  We begin by lighting the new fire in the courtyard garden, and process into the darkened church to song of the Easter Chant. As we share faith stories of liberation and freedom from the Bible and the witness of the church in history, we welcome the season Easter, baptize new members, and share the first Eucharist of Easter!  This service lasts about 75 minutes.

Easter Sunday, March 31
Fawn Lake Lay-Led Easter Dawn service, 6:30am at Fawn Lake
The annual Easter Dawn Service, an ecumenical, lay-led worship service, will be held on Sunday, March 31, at 6:30am. Individuals and households are invited to come to the shores of Fawn Lake, at the end of Sweetwater Avenue in Bedford on Easter Sunday morning for private meditation, prayer, and worship. This service has a long tradition dating back to 1951. Rain location is St. Paul’s Parish Hall. Enjoy the beauty of nature on Easter morning!

Festival Holy Eucharist at 9:00 am & 11:00 a.m.!With festive music, Easter Sermon, and traditional Easter hymns! This year we are offering two Easter services to ensure there is ample space for everyone who wishes to worship on Easter Sunday. The 9:00 a.m. service will be live-streamed, and available for later viewing. The services will follow the same order of worship, so come to whichever time better fits your schedule!

Coffee Hour and Children’s Easter Egg Hunt between the servicesStarting around 10:20 a.m.All children of the parish (up to Grade 5) are invited to come with their families to St. Paul’s and participate in our Egg Hunt between the two Easter services, generously organized by our Middle School Youth Group!