Holy Week 2019
PALM SUNDAY—SUNDAY, APRIL 14
8:00 a.m. Spoken Holy Eucharist
9:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist
For the 9:30 a.m. service, everyone meets in the Green Space for the procession with a real live donkey. In case of inclement weather, we will meet in the Parish Hall. We will walk with Jesus as he enters Jerusalem, singing “Hosanna to the King of Kings!” Palm Sunday moves into the story of Jesus’ Passion on the cross, read in parts by members of St. Mark’s. Steve Wolff and a guest percussionist add texture and leadership to this moving service.
MAUNDY THURSDAY—THURSDAY, APRIL 18
6:00 p.m. Maundy Thursday Liturgy and Meal
8:00 p.m. Setting the Watch
The most stunning service of the Christian year, Maundy Thursday begins with a lavish community meal in the Parish Hall, filled with prayer and song, followed by foot washing, a beautiful Eucharist in the Church, the Stripping of the Altar, and then Setting the Watch in the Chapel.
One of the ancient traditions in our Holy Week observances is Setting the Watch. After the Stripping of the Altar, the priest sets aside some of the bread and wine and lays it in The Chapel of the Bread of Life. The Chapel will have been decorated to recall the Garden of Gethsemane — imagine candlelight, fragrant flowers, and flowering trees. During the night between Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, parishioners are invited to sit for an hour with Jesus — our response to Jesus’ question to the disciples, “can you not stay awake with me for one hour?” We call this vigil Setting the Watch. You’ll see a sign-up sheet in the Parish Hall to sign up for an hour sometime on Thursday night. There are always two slots because we want people to watch in at least pairs. It’s a rich and meaningful tradition, and I hope you’ll consider signing up for a shift as a part of your Holy Week journey with Christ. If you need the door code to get in at nighttime, contact the office.
GOOD FRIDAY—FRIDAY, APRIL 19
12–3 p.m. Individual Prayer/Stations of the Cross
6:00 p.m. Good Friday Liturgy
The Sanctuary will be open from noon until 3 p.m. for private devotions or the Stations of the Cross, and we will observe our full, choral Good Friday Liturgy at 6 p.m. that evening. The evening Liturgy includes the Solemn Collects and the Veneration of the Cross.
HOLY SATURDAY—SATURDAY, APRIL 20
7:00 p.m. Easter Vigil at All Saints’ Cathedral
We encourage you to attend the Great Vigil of Easter at the Cathedral Church of All Saints, a moving and primal service of readings and music. The Vigil begins outside the doors of the cathedral around a new fire. After prayer, the people of God enter into a darkened church by candlelight — a nod to the empty tomb. There, in the candle-lit darkness, we are instructed by scriptures that tell our spiritual story from the Flood through the prophets. The fire, incense, song, and prayer immerse all our senses in the oldest prayers of the church. The services shifts gears as the lights come up and we celebrate the first Eucharist of the Resurrection with Alleluias together.
EASTER SUNDAY—SUNDAY, APRIL 21
8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
9:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist
10:45 a.m. Festive Easter Coffee Hour and Easter Egg Hunt in the Courtyard
Celebrate the Risen Christ with the great stories of our faith and the most worshipful songs of our tradition. At the 9:30 service, we will welcome guest musicians as well as our wonderful choir to help lead us in the holiest morning of the Christian year. A special festive Coffee Hour is to follow the 9:30 service as well as an Easter Egg Hunt.
For many of us, the use of the word “Jews” to describe those people responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus has been common for most of our upbringing. There are two main concerns related to this practice. One is that, in a post-WWII world after the attempted genocide of the Jewish people, following liturgical observances that might inflame anti-Semitism is religiously irresponsible. The other objection is that the word in question in the New Testament that we render “Jews” is richer and more complicated than its English counterpart. Ἰουδαῖοι, literally “Judeans,” sometimes refers to the inhabitants of a particular part of ancient Israel, and sometimes it refers to Jewish religious leaders. Translating it as “Jews” is clunky and opens the door for anti-Semitic sentiment to enter. For these reasons, you’ll note that our Passion readings this year use the more appropriate “Judeans,” though I was tempted to render the word “Milwaukeeans” instead, since the larger point of the Passion plays is that, in His moment of greatest need, Jesus was abandoned and then crucified by his friends — namely us.