The holiest week of the year is approaching, and you’re invited to take part in the journey through Holy Week.
Palm Sunday March 25
At both 8:00 am and 10:00 am. The later service will include an outdoor procession with palms, weather permitting
Maundy Thursday Liturgy March 29
Foot washing service in the church, 6:00 pm. Followed by a simple pot-luck Agape Meal with communion downstairs, concluding with the stripping of the altar back up in the church. Bring a simple vegetarian food to share.
Good Friday March 30
Pilgrimage to Portsmouth - come to Portsmouth for a Good Friday service at noon followed by a stations of the cross walk along the Black Heritage trail from 1:30-3. Contact Elsa for carpool information. More info about the pilgrimage is HERE
St. James will be open for prayer during the day. Our Good Friday Liturgy is at 7:00 pm, which includes communion from reserved sacrament.
The Great Vigil Saturday, March 31, 9:00 pm
The service begins in the dark, with a fire, chanting and candlelight. When the bells ring, the lights come on and it is Easter!
Easter Morning Sunday, April 1
Services at both 8:00 and 10:00 am - the later service is followed by a festive potluck Easter coffee hour
The drama of Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, March 25, when the accolades given to Jesus on his entry into Jerusalem soon turn to the pain of the passion. We listen to the passion story on Palm Sunday in preparation of the week to come. We'll have a quiet Palm Sunday service at 8:00. The later service begins on the front lawn of the church with a procession of the palms around Central Square (weather permitting - we'll meet downstairs in the undercroft if it is raining) The saints will go marching out with their palms, complete with dixieland music to accompany the procession, which is followed by the liturgy of the passion back in the church. Those who prefer not to process are welcome to stay at church and wait for the procession to return.
On Thursday, we remember the Last Supper, at which Jesus charged his disciples to serve and love one another. We'll begin the evening at 6 pm in the church for the annual footwashing, then we'll go downstairs for an agape meal during which we'll share communion, then we will return to the church to strip the altar in preparation for Good Friday. Please bring some food to share (Mediterranean fare like cheese, bread, hummus, vegetables, fruit or other simple foods are encouraged) and put it down in the kitchen before the foot washing. After dinner, we return to the church for the stripping of the altar for Good Friday, when together we remove all ornament from the church.
On Good Friday, the church will be open for quiet prayer as we wait with Christ as they did long ago in the garden. And then the solemn Good Friday liturgy will take place at 7 pm in the church. People are requested to arrive in silence and leave in silence.
Easter arrives on Saturday night, at the Great Vigil of Easter - the holiest night of the year. The service begins in the dark, then a fire is kindled on the front lawn of the church and the light of Christ is symbolically brought into the darkened church. The story of God through history is retold and then the arrival of Easter is welcomed with bells and festive song.
On Easter Sunday morning, at both 8 and 10 am, we celebrate with a festive and musical Eucharist. The later service will be followed by a special coffee hour - please bring a favorite pastry or brunch item to share.