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St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
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Posted on Wed, Mar 23, 2011

Holy Week Schedule of Services

Sunday, April 17,  10:30 AM  The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday

The dual nature of this powerful service is evident from its title. It begins with the pomp and glory of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem with the waving of palm branches and shouts of “Hosanna” to our King. The hosannas soon change to “Crucify him, crucify him,” as the Passion is narrated and dramatically proclaimed by members of the congregation. The impact of the passion and death of our Lord is stark and vivid in this service, so that the glory of the Resurrection may be properly celebrated the following Sunday. We will have only one service on Palm Sunday, at 10:30.

Wednesday, April 20,  7:00 PM  Tenebrae

The name Tenebrae is Latin for “darkness” or “shadows”. This moving service provides an extended meditation upon, and a prelude to, the events in our Lord’s life between the last supper and the Resurrection.

Thursday, April 21,  7:00 PM  Maundy Thursday

The word "Maundy" comes from the Latin for 'command'. It refers to the command given by Jesus at the Last Supper, that his disciples should love one another. This service begins the sacred three days of remembrance of the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. It initiates a time of watching, waiting and contemplation as we enter into the final days before Eastertide. On this night we celebrate Holy Communion with the powerful knowledge that Christ suffered and died for us.

Friday, April 22,  12 Noon  The Stations of the Cross

The Stations, or Way of the Cross, is an adaptation of a custom widely observed by pilgrims to Jerusalem: the offering of prayers at a series of places traditionally associated with our Lord’s passion and death.  The stations are pictorial representations of the events described in Scripture and tradition of Jesus carrying the cross to Golgotha, the place of his crucifixion. These stations are mounted along the walls of the church, and the participants move from station to station, offering prayers and devotions at each one.

Saturday, April 23,  7:00 PM  The Great Easter Vigil

This service is the culmination of the sacred observance of Holy Week and the beginning of the celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection. It is the climax of the Christian Year as the story of redemption unfolds in Scripture, psalm, Sacrament and liturgy. It begins in darkness and silence and proceeds to a joyous burst of light and the glorious proclamation of “Alleluia!” Of all the celebrations of the Church Year, the Great Vigil of Easter is pre-eminent, for it alone vividly and dramatically portrays all that was, is, and ever shall be in the drama of our redemption. This year's Vigil will be especially joyful, as we will be baptizing two of our young people into the Body of Christ.

Sunday, April 24,  9:15 AM  Children’s Easter Egg Hunt

This delightful Easter Sunday event takes the place of our Sunday School hour, as the children race about the church grounds in search of brightly colored eggs, the symbol of new life. This is fun for all ages as the adults enjoy hearing the squeals of delight from the little ones when they find another “treasure”.

Sunday, April 24, 10:30 AM  Easter Sunday Service

The Resurrection Sunday service is a glorious event, as we celebrate the risen Lord in Word, Song, and Sacrament. The church is beautifully adorned with Easter flowers, the wonderful Easter Hymns are sung, and the Resurrection of our Lord is proclaimed. Be sure and bring a small bell of any kind, as each time we say or sing the word “Alleluia!” everyone rings their bells. It is truly a joy to watch the children wait with eager anticipation for the next “Alleluia” so they can furiously ring the bells. Also, don't forget to bring flowers for the flowering of our beautiful Easter Cross. Refreshments and fellowship follow the service in the Parish Hall. We will have only one service at 10:30 on Easter.


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