Holy Week and Easter

Faith lives on at Grace. We invite you to journey with us through the solemnity of Holy Week commemorating Christ’s death on the cross to the joy of celebrating His resurrection at Easter. Please join us online for our Holy Week and Easter services.

We know that this is a Holy Week unlike any other in our memory. The cathedral’s worship and formation teams have prepared a PDF of resources to guide your prayers and worship as you join our live stream services from home during Holy Week — read and download it here.

Holy Week

Palm Sunday Choral Eucharist: Online Live Stream
Sunday, April 5 • 11 am 
Palm Sunday begins the time in the Christian year known as Holy Week, and commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into JerusalemEach of the four gospels describe the crowds greeting Jesus by waving palm branches, and we ritually join them, shouting, “Hosanna!” in praise. From the songs of triumph and joy, the service turns to an account of Jesus’ passion, suffering and death – preparing us for the solemn reflections of Holy Week.

Chrism Mass
Tuesday, April 7 • 12 pm
 
Our bishop, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Marc Handley Andrus, gathers (online) with people from area Episcopal churches for a pastoral address and the annual renewal of ministry and blessing of oils. Chrism is a Greek word meaning “anointing.” Balsam-scented oil of chrism is blessed by our bishop and used throughout the year, most commonly at baptism and confirmation. Oil of the sick is also blessed for anointing those who are ill and dying. The Chrism Mass also affirms all those in ministry, symbolized by the blessed oils. Priests and deacons renew the vows they made at their ordination, and the ministry of the whole church is reaffirmed by renewing the vows made at baptism.  

Tenebrae: Online Live Stream
Wednesday, April 8 • 6 pm
Based on monastic prayer services, Tenebrae is a simple, yet powerful choral service whose antecedents date to the fifth century. Tenebrae is a Latin word meaning “shadows, and begins with lit candles which, one by one, are extinguished until we are in darkness. Where other services emphasize multiple voices, Tenebrae is sung entirely by the choir, and the congregation is present to meditate and reflect on themes of yearning, peace, and hope. 

Maundy Thursday: Online Live Stream
Thursday, April 9 • 6 pm
Maundy Thursday begins the Great Three Days — The Triduum the holiest time in the Christian year. The name “Maundy comes from the Latin mandatum, meaning commandment, given to the disciples by Jesus as he washed their feet. Although our ritual action adapts to the circumstances of sheltering in place, the meaning is unchanged: serving one another in love is a sign of our share in the life of Christ.

Good Friday: Online Live Stream
Friday, April 103 pm
Good Friday’s solemn service draws us into a challenging and mysterious part of the Christian story: the suffering and death of Jesus, recounted Passion narrative. Grace Cathedral’s tradition is to hear the gospel chanted by the choir to the ancient tones of the St. John PassionWe respond by offering prayers — the Solemn Collects — for the deep needs of our worldand finish by meditating on the Cross.

The Great Vigil of Easter: Online Live Stream
Saturday, April 11 • 9 pm
T
he Great Three Days, the Triduumculminates with the Great Vigil of Easter. To “vigil” means to stay awake when we would normally be sleeping, especially to keep watch or pray — and so the Great Vigil of Easter begins with waitingWe listen by candlelight to accounts of God’s saving action in history, remembering the creation of the world and Israel’s deliverance at the Red Sea 
This sacred story continues, and is expressed for Christians most poignantly, in the life, death and resurrection of Christ. So we renew our participation in that liferecalling, as St. Paul wrote: “we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4 NRSV). For millennia, Christians have been welcomed into the church at the Easter Vigil, through baptism as well as, more recently, confirmation, reception, and the reaffirmation of baptismal vows. Though we are dispersed this year, we renew our baptismal vows together, and celebrate the resurrected life we share as the Body of Christ.

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday Choral Eucharist: Online Live Stream
Sunday, April 12 • 11 am
Alleluia! Christ is Risen! In confidence, we gather virtually to celebrate the triumph of hope over despair, life over death, love over hate. The first Eucharist of Easter is celebrated with our dean, the Very Rev. Dr. Malcolm Clemens Young, presiding and our bishop, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Marc Handley Andrus, preaching. Hear the stories of God’s promise and the first disciples’ amazement at the empty tombreceive the assurance that the Risen Christ gave to Mary Magdalene: “Do not be afraid.” Our celebration is enriched by a quartet of men of the Cathedral Choir who ring out the beloved hymns and anthems of the feast. Sing along!    

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