Worship. Serve. Grow.

Update April 1, 2020: Holy Week Services

NOTE: All the Holy Week liturgies will only be livestreamed via Facebook (www.facebook.com/stpaulscary).  Recorded videos will be available on Facebook after the services. As we practice physical distancing, face-to-face services are suspended.  

A Letter from the Rector

April 1, 2020

Dear Friends,

I hope that you are all finding your way through this new territory of physical isolation. While we learn the dance of physical distancing for the sake of the common good, I also invite you to discover some new steps in the dance of spiritual connectedness and growth. Please continue to check the St. Paul’s Connects page on our website (www.stpaulscary.org/connects) for updates and information on how we are staying in touch with one another.

Holy Week, the most sacred time in the Christian liturgical year, is upon us. All the Holy Week liturgies will be livestreamed via Facebook (www.facebook.com/stpaulscary). In this week’s update, I’d like to offer you a schedule and some context for these services.

Palm Sunday Service (April 5 at 9:00 a.m.)
Bulletin for Palm Sunday

While our diocesan coronavirus protocol prohibits the distribution of the palm, we will still begin the Palm Sunday liturgy with the blessing of palms in the narthex. This part of the service is a reenactment of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem, where we read the Gospel passage concerning his triumphant arrival and sing “All Glory, Loud, and Honor.” Next, we move into the lessons appointed for the day. Here we read the Passion narrative for the first time in Holy Week.

Liturgy of the Word on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in Holy Week (April 6-8 at 7:00 p.m.)
Bulletins for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Each of these services will be a simple Liturgy of the Word with the Scripture readings of the day followed by a reflection. On Monday, Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with ointment. On Tuesday, Jesus foretells his death. On Wednesday, Judas prepares to betray Jesus. Each service will conclude with prayers and a blessing.

Maundy Thursday Service (April 9 at 7:00 p.m.)
Bulletin for Maundy Thursday

The word Maundy is derived from the Latin word mandare, which means “to command.” The liturgy commemorates Jesus’ last supper with his disciples, where he gives them two commands that they must follow. The first is “Love one another as I have loved you.” Jesus washed his disciple’s feet as a symbol of this love and service. Thus, in the liturgy, this action is dramatized by the Washing of the Feet.

Because of our diocesan coronavirus protocol, we will not be participating in the Washing of the Feet this year. Instead, we invite those participating at home to wash their hands as a symbol of our service, love, and care for one another during this time. I suggest that you set some water and towels aside before the service in order to participate in this liturgical rite.

The second commandment is in reference to the Eucharistic meal: “Do this in remembrance of me.” The Lord’s Supper was instituted on this night, and in the Maundy Thursday service, white vestments are worn by the clergy to remind us of the importance of this gift. This is the last Eucharistic celebration before Easter. When all present have received communion, the remaining Sacrament is moved to the Altar of Repose outside the church. As the liturgy ends, the altar area is stripped and the lights are dimmed, dramatizing the sense of abandonment that Jesus’ followers experienced as He was taken away.

Good Friday Service (April 10 at 7:00 p.m.)
Bulletin for Good Friday 

This is the day on which the Passion and Death of our Lord is commemorated. We read the Passion story and pray the Solemn Collects. We process the Wood of the Cross into the church and reverence it. The liturgy ends in silence.

Easter Vigil (Saturday, April 11 at 8:00 p.m.)
Bulletin for Easter Vigil 

The Great Vigil of Easter is at the heart of our liturgical observances. The service begins in darkness – a darkness established in the sober anguish and despair of Good Friday. A fire is kindled outside the church, and the Paschal candle is lit as a sign of Christ’s rising from the dead. The procession moves into the church as the candle begins to enlarge Christ’s light. Then the history of salvation is read through a selection of Old Testament readings, all culminating in the resurrection story. In response to this, we renew our baptismal vows and celebrate the first Eucharist of Easter with organ, alleluias, and bells. The music shouts forth our joy at the news of the risen Christ.

Easter Day (Sunday, April 12 at 9:00 a.m.)
Bulletin for Easter Day 

Easter Morning carries forth the joy of the Great Vigil. We gather as a family across time and space to celebrate our joy and hope, the Risen Lord Jesus Christ. The joy of the Vigil vibrates through this service with music and festive attire.

Looking forward to celebrating Holy Week with you. Be well, and stay safe.


NOTE:  In addition to the worship services above, Morning Prayer will also be live streamed on Facebook at 8:00 a.m. each Monday – Friday.