Easter

Holy Week

The culmination of the Church Year, we journey through the Passion of Christ beginning with Palm Sunday, moving to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and finally, Hallelujah! - Easter Sunday!

Scroll down to find a description of what we remember on each of these days as well as some ways you can celebrate at home.

 
Image by Paul Weaver

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week. The procession with palms, which was already observed in Jerusalem in the fourth century, calls to mind the triumphal entry of Jesus, our Lord and King, into Jerusalem. The procession is an act of worship, witness, and devotion to our Lord.  The purpose of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem was to fulfill his Father’s will; thus it is fitting that this service continues with the reading of the Passion Gospel in which the whole story of the Holy Week is anticipated. We who hail Jesus as King one moment, may in the next deny him, even joining with the crowd in shouting, “Crucify him!”

Invitations:

  • The Palm Sunday liturgy can be found in the BCP on page 554.  You will need a Bible and palm branches. Simplify as needed if you have young children.

  • Go for a walk carrying your palms

  • If you have young children, read the story from your favorite story Bible.  With chalk, draw a path of palms and coats leading to Jerusalem  on your driveway or sidewalk.  Encourage the kids imagine!

  • Meditate on Matthew 21:1-9, Mark 11:1-10, Luke 19:28-40 or John 12:12-15.

Passover

Wednesday Seder Meal

Our Eucharistic service every Sunday emerges from elements of the traditional Jewish Seder meal.
Jesus highlighted the “third cup” of the Seder meal and the unleavened bread as symbolic of the
redemption found in his body and blood. We celebrate the Seder every year during Holy Week to
reenact the final week of Jesus’s life and to breath historical life into our contemporary communion
service.


The Seder meal was the Jewish celebration of Passover. This meal celebrated the Israelite’s
deliverance from slavery in Egypt. As Christians, we celebrate the Seder meal so that we can
remember the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”! Many aspects of the Exodus
story serve as types for Christian sacraments. We remember Baptism in the crossing of the Red Sea
and the Eucharist through God’s provision of manna in the wilderness.  We pray your family will have a rich experience through celebrating this important meal!

*To celebrate a Seder Meal you will need to plan ahead with shopping and meal preparations as well as take time to look over the leader's guide.  

Here is a shopping & prep list.

Here is a participant guide - print one for each person.

Here is a leader's guide - one side of the page has the instructions for leading the Seder and the other side has the participant guide.

For more information you can check out the following. resources:

A detailed explanation of the Seder liturgy with Messianic explanations

Seder meal preparation tips on Chosen People Ministries

Water

Maundy Thursday Foot Washing

Maundy Thursday receives its name from the mandatum (commandment) given by our Lord: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (JOHN 13:34). At the Last Supper, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and commanded them to love and serve one another as he had done. This day commemorates the Lord’s example of servant ministry, the institution of the Eucharist, the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the betrayal leading to the crucifixion.

Invitations

  • The Maundy Thursday liturgy is on page 560 of the BCP.   You will need a Bible, a chair, a basin of water and a towel or two.  You might want to have music ready to play during the foot washing.  As you wash each other's feet, you might want to add a blessing or prayer for the person you are serving.

  • Daily Readings can be found on page 744 of the BCP.

  • If you are alone for this liturgy, consider prepping a warm, fragrant foot soak for yourself and take time to imagine Jesus washing your feet.

  • Meditate on John 13:1-20

Image by Ricky Turner

Good Friday

The Good Friday liturgy is the second part of the Triduum (the sacred three days). This most somber of all days is appropriately marked by fasting, abstinence, and penitence, leading us to focus on Jesus and the meaning of his Cross. Some churches do not use musical instruments or bells on this day. The church is often darkened. The bare, stark appearance of the church serves as a reminder of the solemnity and the sorrow of the day. The Lord of Life was rejected, mocked, scourged, and then put to death on the Cross. The faithful are reminded of the role which their own sin played in this suffering and agony, as Christ took all sin upon himself, in obedience to his Father’s will. By the Cross we are redeemed, set free from bondage to sin and death. The Cross is a sign of God’s never-ending love for us. It is a sign of life, in the midst of death.

Invitations:

Image by Prateek Gautam

Holy Saturday
& The Great Easter Vigil

The Great Vigil, when observed, is the first liturgy of Easter Day. It is celebrated at a convenient time between sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise on Easter morning. It is appropriate that the service begin in darkness. The liturgy normally consists of four parts:

The Service of Light: a new fire is kindled symbolizing Christ the light of the world. The Service of Lessons: key passages from Scripture recount the history of God’s mighty acts and promises. Holy Baptism or the Renewal of Baptismal Vows.

The Holy Eucharist is the proper culmination of the Easter Liturgy. As we keep this holy feast, we share the joy of our Savior’s triumph and are strengthened by his grace to walk in newness of life.

Invitations:

  • A simple Holy Saturday liturgy is on page 578 of the BCP.

  • The Easter Vigil is found on page 582 of the BCP.  Simplify as needed for children.

  • Daily Readings can be found on page 744 of the BCP.

  • Recount favorite Bible stories of God's faithfulness.  Retell your own personal stories of God's faithfulness.

  • Renew your baptismal vows, page 194 of the BCP.

  • Practice silence for part or all of the day.

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Easter Sunday

Hallelujah! 

The Lord is Risen!

He is Risen, Indeed!

Today we celebrate Christ's victory over death!  Visit the Easter page for more details.

Invitations:​

  • Make "empty tomb" cookies on Saturday night, that will be ready for Easter day.

  • Wake up early and head outside to watch the sunrise from a good spot.

  • Dress up and attend Worship with All Saints!

  • Prepare and enjoy a feast!

  • Daily Readings can be found on page 744 of the BCP.

  • Plan for your Easter Season celebrations!