From early times, Christians have observed the week before Easter as a time of special devotion. Good Shepherd offers several services during Holy Week which provide a liturgical experience of the last days of Jesus' earthly life, as well as the time and events leading up to his resurrection which we celebrate on Easter Day.
Join us for one, several or all of these special services.
Palm Sunday, April 14: 7:30 am, 10 am & 6 pm
Palm Sunday encompasses two distinct stories in the life of our Lord - one of exuberance, followed by one of despair. We gather outside on the back patio (weather permitting), receive palm leaves - symbols of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and then process into church. Secondly, we reflect on the events leading up to Christ’s crucifixion with a dramatic reading of The Passion Story of our Lord.
Stations of the Cross in Music & Art, Wednesday, April 17 at 7 pm
A moving, meditative, introduction to the Great Three Days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Please see the next article for detailed description.
Maundy Thursday, April 18: Dinner at 5:45 pm, Service at 6:30 pm
This is the day Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with his disciples. He also washed their feet as a symbol of his servant leadership of them. We observe this special day with a service of Holy Communion that ends in the Stripping of the Altar. All the symbols of our worship and of Christ are either removed or draped with cloth. The only symbols of Christ left in the world are us. We start the evening with a simple soup and bread dinner (to symbolize the last supper), which is followed by readings and the sermon for the evening. The service continues in our Sanctuary with a foot washing ceremony (for those who wish to participate).
After the service we offer an all-night prayer vigil in our Chapel. You can sign up to be part of this as the season draws closer, and can stay after the service, or can come back at any time during the night. This recalls Jesus’ time in the Garden of Gethsemane before he was arrested, when he asked his disciples to “stay awake and watch with me” while he prayed.
Good Friday, April 19: 12 Noon & 7 pm
Good Friday is the day when we commemorate Jesus' suffering and death on the Cross. For many, it is a day to fast and to set aside time for worship and prayer - time to reflect on our Lord's suffering and his victory over death. During the Good Friday service parishioners are invited to participate in the "Veneration of the Cross" liturgy by lighting a candle and placing it at the foot of a large wooden cross that is leaned against the altar. At the conclusion of the service, the congregation receives communion from the bread and wine that were consecrated at the Maundy Thursday service. For many parishioners, the solemn Good Friday liturgy is one of the highlights of the year.
The Great Vigil of Easter: April 20 at 7:30 pm
The Easter Vigil service is the most ancient liturgy in the Christian Church and is the first celebration of Easter. This service has four parts: the lighting of the new fire, which is Jesus’ spark of life rekindled in the tomb, the reading of Old Testament scriptures, in which we hear stories of how God has been saving God's people throughout history, the service of Holy Baptism, and, lastly, the first Eucharist service of Easter, when we celebrate Christ's resurrection and the fact that we have been raised to new life with him. Music is led by our acoustic worship team, EveningSong.
Easter Sunday, April 21: Services at 7:30 am, 9:15 am and 11:15 am
Easter Day is our celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. There will be no Sunday School this day, and nursery care will be provided at both the 9:15 and 11:15 am services. The choir will sing at both the 7:30 and 9:15 am services, and MorningSong our acoustic worship group will provide music at the 11:15 am service.
Following the 9:15 am service there will be an Easter Egg Hunt for the children.