ST. GEORGE — The week beginning with Palm/Passion Sunday and concluding with the Feast of the Resurrection (Easter Sunday) constitutes the most significant time of the Episcopal Church’s liturgical year.
Grace Episcopal Church located at 1072 E. 900 S. in St George will be observing this time with Palm/Passion services on Saturday, March 28 and Sunday, March 29 and continuing with Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. Complete information may also be found here.
It is in these days that we remember the final week of Christ’s life on earth, and holy mother Church gives us opportunity, through the specially chosen readings and liturgies, to walk with Jesus as he enters this week of choices that has determined the course of redemption history. Through Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection, we know the extent of God’s love for us. We learn what love really looks like as we watch Christ in these final days of his life on earth. We have the opportunity to know and receive again the message that Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again – for you and for me.
Please join us as much as you are able in these holy remembrances and celebrations. There is a different grace given in each of the days of Holy Week . . . come and drink deeply of God’s love.
We begin Holy Week celebrating Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, amid the cheering crowds. In just a matter of days, however, those cheers become jeers. Come and contemplate the movement from “Hosanna!” to “Crucify Him.” Services will be held on Saturday March 28, 5:30 p.m. and Sunday March 29 at 10:30 a.m.
The focus this day is on our Lord’s betrayal by one of his own. Hearing it, we consider the ways we also betray him; and, mercifully, the forgiveness Christ offers us. On Wednesday Eucharist will be celebrated at Noon in the Pax et Bonum Chapel at the Church.
Maundy Thursday, as this day is known, has a dual focus: One, the Maundy (i.e. commandment) to be servant ministers; and two, the gift of the Holy Eucharist. After the service, 7:30 p.m., and the stripping of the Altar in preparation for Good Friday, the congregation is invited to the Chapel to meditate before the Blessed Sacrament.
How could such an awful day, when we commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus, ever be considered “good?” We can call this day “good” only because it shows the strength of God’s love for us. In Christ, we are loved from the hard wood of the cross. The example of this love ought to empower us to love as deeply.
Come to the evening service at 7:30 p.m. and ponder these things and enter more deeply into the mystery of the dying and rising of Christ and what it means to you.
Holy Saturday – Easter Vigil
The first Liturgy of Easter begins at sundown on this holy evening. A Paschal (Easter) fire is lighted, from which the Paschal Candle announces the Passover of Jesus from death to life. Light and love break through the darkness. Next, we hear several Old Testament stories about how God has saved his people in the past. The Vigil part of the service concludes at the Baptismal Font with the Renewal of Vows and the Easter proclamation: “Alleluia! Christ is risen!” Bring bells with you to this great celebration. It is a long-standing tradition for the congregation to ring bells at the proclamation. Any bell will do, from finger cymbals to cow bells or everything in between! After the ringing of the bells, we prepare the altar and celebrate the First Mass of Easter.
THE FEAST OF THE RESURRECTION
The “Alleluias” of Easter will resound throughout the church on Easter Sunday morning. Assisted by the choir, we will sing and celebrate the best news ever proclaimed:
ALLELUIA! CHRIST IS RISEN!
THE LORD IS RISEN! ALLELUIA!
On this truth, and in this hope, we find our identity, meaning, and life.
Our celebration will continue after the liturgy with our Fellowship Hour and an Easter Egg hunt for young children. Holy Week and Easter provide a wonderful opportunity for you to share your own life of faith and trust in Christ by inviting friends and family to join you.
All are welcome at Grace!