Holy Week at St. Paul’s
- 5:30 p.m., Agape Meal—Please bring simple soups (no stews or chili, please), bread, cheese, dried fruits including dates and figs.
- 6:00 p.m., Maundy Thursday Worship Service—Jesus teaches us about true servanthood and binds us together in the first Holy Communion. Jesus is then arrested and taken away from us. (childcare is available)
- 7:00 p.m., Maundy Thursday Vigil—Held from after our Maundy Thursday Service until 8 a.m. on Good Friday, the church family keeps watch, just as Jesus asked the disciples to keep watch on the Mount of Olives before his betrayal.
This is the day that Jesus and his disciples celebrate the Jewish Passover meal, also known as the Last Supper. While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread and a cup of wine and told the disciples these were his body and blood. He invited them to eat and drink these things to remember him. In John’s Gospel, Jesus washes the disciples’ feet, telling them to be servants of others, just as he was their servant. This profoundly beautiful act will be part of the Maundy Thursday service as clergy don towels on their arms and wash the feet of all who choose to take part.
At the end of the service, all decoration is removed from the altar, dramatizing the moment when Jesus is arrested and taken into custody where he will be tried, condemned, stripped, mocked and executed. Grief, vulnerability, and austerity are embodied when the church is stripped of its vessels and vestments as we go with Jesus to dark Gethsemane. At St. Paul’s we will also wash the altar, a custom of the Church dating back centuries.
The church family gathers to mourn the death of our best friend and brother.
- 11:30 a.m., Soup Lunch
- 12:00 p.m., Good Friday Worship Service
- 5:30 a.m., Stations of the Cross
- 6:00 p.m., Good Friday Worship Service (childcare is available)
Good Friday marks the day of Jesus’ crucifixion and death. In scripture, he had been arrested, the previous night, handed over to the authorities, and condemned to die, along with two thieves. This day, which is filled with images of Jesus’ very real pain and agony, may seem to be anything but good, but the term comes from an earlier English sense of “good,” meaning “holy.”
On this day, we see God incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ suffer and die for the sins of the world. Many churches will reenact the Stations of the Cross, a meditative walk through the last hours of Jesus’ life. In the now-bare sanctuary of St. Paul’s, parishioners will take communion from the “reserved sacrament” (meaning the bread and wine were was consecrated yesterday). This follows the ancient liturgical practice in which the elements are received in silence on this day reflecting the presence of Jesus who is suffering for our sins on this day.
The church family mourns Jesus who is dead and lying in the tomb. We gather to contemplate what life is like without him.
- 10:00 a.m., Holy Saturday Service
The Liturgy for Holy Saturday is a uniquely Anglican observance. This, the shortest liturgy in the Prayer Book, invites us to experience the day after the Crucifixion—which Jesus was dead, lying in the tomb. The brevity and silence of this day invites reflection about what the world would be like if God we’re dead and all hope were lost. This is the only day when the Eucharist is never celebrated.
Thanks be to God Holy Saturday is merely the penultimate Liturgy of Holy Week!
The church family celebrates the Good News. He is Risen!
- 6:30 a.m., Community Sunrise Service at the Rutherford County Historic Court House
- 7:30 a.m., Easter Worship Service
- 8:30 a.m., Easter Worship Service
- 10:00 a.m., Easter Egg Hunt
- 11:00 a.m., Easter Worship Service
Alleluia! Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia! Easter morning is the principal liturgical celebration of the year—it is the day we celebrate the Resurrection of the Son of God from the dead. Today we hear of Mary Magdalene (and others, in Mark’s telling) coming to anoint Jesus’ body, only to find the great stone rolled away, and the tomb empty. As it dawns on these faithful women and the apostles, it dawns on us, too: the One who only days earlier was humiliated, broken, beaten and killed, lives. We celebrate in the sure and certain hope that God has destroyed the power of death and the grave, and “opened for us the way of eternal life” (Catechism, Book of Common Prayer, p. 850). St. Paul’s will be adorned with flowers as a symbol of rebirth and joy in God’s creation. Brass music reminds us of the exuberant and inexhaustible joy in this day. And all the faithful will gather to celebrate the triumph of love over death.
- Monday in Holy Week, April 6, 2020, at First Baptist Church (lunch served afterward)
- Tuesday in Holy Week, April 7, 2020, at First Presbyterian Church (lunch served afterward)
- Wednesday in Holy Week, April 8, 2020, at Central Christian Church (lunch served afterward)
- Maundy Thursday, April 9, 2020, at First Cumberland Presbyterian (lunch served afterward)
- Good Friday, April 10, 2020, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (lunch served at 11:30 a.m.)