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Holy Week and
Easter Service Schedule

Holy Week Service Calendar

Palm Sunday March 24: 8am and 10am services

(10am in person and YouTube)

 

Maundy Thursday March 28: 6pm Agape Meal

7pm service (in person and YouTube)

Nikki Nash-MacIsaac, preacher

 

Good Friday March 29: 12pm Service

modeled after stations of the cross (in person and YouTube)

7pm service at Trinity Episcopal Melrose

The Rev. Brett Johnson, preacher

 

Easter Vigil Saturday March 30: 7pm service (in person and YouTube)

The Rev. Isaac Martinez, rector, Trinity Episcopal Melrose, preacher

 

Easter Sunday March 31: 8am and 10am services

(10am in person and YouTube)

 

All services are at Emmanuel Episcopal Church

unless otherwise noted

How to Build Your Holy Week!

 

Draw near to God, and God will draw near to you. (James 4:8a)

Is it possible to expect the unexpected? The very nature of the “unexpected” is that we cannot know what will happen, how we will feel, or, indeed, if anything will happen.

Beginning this Sunday (3/24), we enter together the holiest week of our liturgical year. I wanted to let you know what you can expect and what might come as unexpected. Some of this is similar to our first Holy Week last year, and some is new.

The liturgies of this week are specifically intended to expand time. We are joining in with “kairos” time, the Greek word used for a non-chronological understanding of God’s timing that is ripe with opportunities for God’s activity in our lives. The liturgies draw us viscerally into the final week of Jesus’ life. With pacing, silence, betrayal, confusion, and abrupt about-faces in emotions, we are catapulted into the mystery of God’s love in Christ and humanity’s response.

You will feel this right from the start on Palm Sunday. In both services, we flourish palms and exclaim loud “Hosanna’s.” Very quickly, we are brought up short by the horror of the Passion Gospel this year, as told in the Gospel of Mark. We leave in silence.

We gather on Zoom for Evening Prayer on Wednesday evening at 6:00 p.m. As you have heard me say, this weekly collective is a “house church.” Perhaps this is the week you will feel God calling you to set aside time to join these welcoming siblings in Christ.

We begin with fellowship and food on Maundy Thursday, just as the disciples and Jesus enjoyed each other’s company at their last supper. Our beloved Nikki Nash-MacIsaac will be preaching! By the end of the evening, we will all strip the altar until it is bare (a new practice we began last year), leading us to the Garden of Repose. Again, we end in silence.

Good Friday’s noon service will have significant silence throughout, as well. In this service, we worship with an adapted liturgy on the stations of the cross from the New Zealand Prayer Book. We welcome Gail Abbey to sing The Crucifixion by Samuel Barber.

That evening, we will join our siblings at Trinity Episcopal Church in Melrose for a 7:00 p.m. traditional Good Friday service. The Rev. Isaac Martinez has invited me to preach.

Rev. Isaac and his parish will join us for the Great Vigil of Easter on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. 

I am eager for you to experience the Vigil this year, dear family. This is a Family Friendly Service! We begin outside by lighting the fire from which we light the new Paschal candle! After chanting the Exultet (a chant reserved exclusively for this annual service), our creative renditions of the traditional readings will draw you into reliving the activity of God from the beginning of the world, leading to Christ’s triumph over death. We will hear our first “A-word” since Lent began, signaling the celebration of resurrection!

On Easter Morning, we will join with millions worldwide to humbly rejoice that God’s love in the person of Jesus Christ overcame death on our behalf!

What will you be prepared to find?

Emmanuel: God is With Us! God is a God of miracles, relationships, and transformation. We cannot predict how it will happen, so we don’t know when to expect it. I am eager to have all our hearts open to it so we’re ready when it comes. 

Join me – in all of it, or as much as you and your family can. This week is God’s gift to you and your gift back to God.

 

Gratefully,

Brett+

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