Each year during Holy Week, ECA typically has the following services:
+7:00pm- Holy Eucharist (Foot washing, Agape Supper & Stripping of the Altar)
9:00pm-Noon- Gethsemane watch Prayer Vigil (Prayer Vigil goes into Good Friday)
12:00 (noon)- Station of the Cross & Eucharist (Outside weather permitting)
+6:00pm- Stations of the Cross (Outside Church, weather & light permitting)
+7:00pm- Holy Eucharist w/ the reserve sacrament (Veneration of the Cross)
* Saturday Night Easter Vigil
8:21pm- Easter Vigil with choir (lighting of Paschal fire & Holy Eucharist)
+Light incense may be used
**Reception follows the service in the Swift Bldg
*Easter Sunday- Feast of the Resurrection
8:00am- Holy Eucharist Rite II with music
+9:00am- Holy Eucharist Rite II with choir & music
10:15am- Easter Egg Hunt (Children & Youth)
+10:45am- Holy Eucharist Rite II with Festive Choral
+Light incense may be used
**Covered dish luncheon reception follows the 10:45am service in the Activities Bldg and outside (weather permitting).
The proper liturgy for Maundy Thursday– On this day the Christian community gathers to share in the holy supper which Christ gave to the church to reveal his unfailing love for the human family. In the actions of this liturgy, Christ demonstrates this love by speaking his faithful word, washing our feet, and giving us his body and blood. From this fathering we are sent to continue these actions in daily life: to serve those in need, to offer mercy, to feed the hungry. This first liturgy of the three days has no ending: it continues with the prayer vigil, with the worship of Good Friday and concludes with the Great Vigil of Easter. Together the three days proclaim the mystery of our faith- Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again.
The ceremony of the washing of the feet– At the Last Supper John tells us that Jesus knew that he had come from God and that he was going back to God. What then? Did he set himself up on a throne and invite his disciples to worship him? No, he took a towel, girded himself and washed his disciples’ feet, thus performing the action of a slave. “Do you know what I have done for you?” he asked. “If I wash your feet, you ought also to wash one another’s feet.” And so, we do – a sign of service to each other, to remind us that our calling as Christians is a call to serve others, as God in Christ has served us.
The Agape Supper– A new commandment I give you: Love one another. (John 13:34) This new command (mandatum) gives this day its name, Maundy Thursday. This simple supper we share as we remember the last meal our Lord shared with his disciples before his death we call Agape or Love Supper. Hold this ideal of Christian fellowship in your minds as we enjoy this meal which has been prepared for us. The words of blessing we use tonight remind us both of the words Jesus would have used that night and of the meaning for us of the events which followed the meal
A Gethsemane Watch– You are invited to take part in a watch (or vigil) lasting from the close of this evening’s service until the Stations of the Cross that begins on Friday at Noon. The Blessed Sacrament will be placed on a temporary altar in the Swift Bldg library at the end of the Maundy Thursday service and will be kept there until it is consumed at the proper liturgy for Good Friday at 7pm. Our presence with the sacrament mirrors the watch that took place in Gethsemane a little over two thousand years ago. As it was for Jesus and his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before our Lord’s crucifixion, so it is time for us to “watch and pray.” If you haven’t already signed up to take part in the vigil, please feel free to join in at anytime throughout the night.
The Stations of the Cross– is an ancient devotion that enables us to walk with Jesus to his death. We see him condemned, carrying the cross through the streets of Jerusalem, stumbling, seeing his mother and friends, being stripped, being nailed to the cross, dying, and laid in the tomb. On this journey, we participate in Christ’s passion not only with our lips, but with our hands, our eyes, our feet as well. There will be two stations, one at noon and the other at 6pm.
Proper liturgy for Good Friday– on this day, time nearly grinds to a halt as the church gathers to hear the proclamation of the Passion, to pray for the life of the world, and to meditate on the life-giving cross. The ancient title for this day – the triumph of the cross – reminds us that the church gathers to offer thanksgiving for the wood of the tree on which hung our salvation.
The Great Vigil of Easter- The first service of Easter Day- Today is the day God began creation, transforming darkness into light. Today is the day Jesus Christ rose from the darkness of the grave to new life. Today is the day when the church celebrates its birth from the waters of baptism and its new life in the Holy Spirit. Though suffering, injustice and sin continue to mark the world in which we live, the Christian community goes forth from font and table with Christ’s commission to heal, liberate and forgive. Rejoicing in the fifty days of Easter, the church also asks the question: “How does our baptism send us forth in joyful service to the world?”