Holy Week & Easter


A Pilgrim’s Guide

To Holy Week

Christ Episcopal Church

April 10 -16, 2017

(click to download and print  Pilgrim’s Guide Holy Week 2017)



Holy Monday – Labyrinth Walk, 6 -7:30 p.m.

We will meet in the Newton Community Room at 6 p.m. for an overview of the labyrinth and some tips on walking for the first time. We will go as a group to Clinton Elementary School for the walk and then return for mediation in the Chapel (optional).

The labyrinth is a spiritual tool that was developed in the medieval period by the church for people who could not travel to experience pilgrimage. Most Christian labyrinths are based on the design found in Chartes Cathedral. You cannot get lost in a Christian labyrinth and the experience of walking is often helpful in understanding the life of the spirit.


Holy Tuesday Centering Prayer in the Chapel 7-9 p.m.

Centering Prayer is a method of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, prayer in which we experience God’s presence within us; closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself. This method of prayer is both a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship.

Centering Prayer is not meant to replace other kinds of prayer. Rather, it adds depth of meaning to all prayer and facilitates the movement from more active modes of prayer — verbal, mental or affective prayer — into a receptive prayer of resting in God. Centering Prayer emphasizes prayer as a personal relationship with God.


Holy Wednesday – Agape Supper, 6-7 p.m.

A simple supper of chicken, vegetarian options, rice and salad followed by a simple Eucharist around the table. It is a gentle beginning to the Triduum, the “great three days”, and a wonderful way to begin the rigor of the Holy Week services.

The early church practiced these “agape” or love feasts to demonstrate the egalitarian nature of the early Christian communities. In the ancient world, there were rigid expectations of who could eat with one another and these divisions were driven mainly by social class, citizenship, and gender.


Maundy Thursday – “For the remembrance of me”

Liturgy & Foot Washing, 7 p.m. – This service is bi-lingual and is celebrated with members of Our Lady of Guadalupe, our sister parish. It recalls the last night that Jesus spent with his disciples when Communion was instituted. We also have foot washing. The service ends with the stripping of the altar and the people leave in silence.

The Watch at the Altar, 9 p.m. – – When Jesus awaits his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, he asks his disciples, “Couldn’t you even stay awake with me one hour?” We will keep vigil in the church throughout the night. A sign-up sheet is in the sanctuary and all members of Christ Church and Our Lady of Guadalupe are invited to keep vigil throughout the night.

Good Friday

“It is Finished”

Solemn Service, 12 noon – This service includes a reading of the Passion. Reserved sacrament, sermon and prayers are offered. Because of the nature of the Good Friday services, children are encouraged to attend the Family Service at 5 p.m.

Family Service, 5 p.m – An interactive meditation on the events of Good Friday. This service offers the story of Jesus’ death in an age- appropriate way.

Solemn Service with Choir, 7 p.m. – A solemn service with choir. This service features the reading of the Passion, the Sung reproaches, the veneration of the Cross, and the last words of Jesus. Because of the nature of the Good Friday services, children are encouraged to attend the Family Service at 5 p.m.


Holy Saturday

Morning Service in the Nave, 10 a.m. – This service from the Book of Common Prayer lasts approximately 15 minutes and has been the service that is traditionally used by the members of the Altar and Flower Guilds to transition from the solemnity of Good Friday to the work of preparation on Holy Saturday.

Easter Vigil**, 8 p.m. – This is the first service of Easter, considered by many to be the most dramatic service in the Book of Common Prayer. The service begins with the kindling of the new fire of Easter. That fire is then brought into the darkened church. This service is characterized by a reading of the stories of salvation, the play between dark and light, and the renewal of baptismal vows.

**Incense will be used at this service. Please take note if you have allergies or respiratory issues

Easter Day

8 a.m. Eucharist – The feast of Easter will be celebrated with hymns.

10 a.m. Festival Eucharist – celebrated with special choral music, brass accompaniment, and special gifts for the children