Island churches plan for Holy Week, Easter
The island’s three churches have been busy this month preparing for Holy Week and Easter Sunday.
At St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, the Rev. Kevin Lloyd says his Maundy Thursday service is perhaps the most moving and profound ceremony of the week. The 7 p.m. observance will include a ritual foot washing in remembrance of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples on the night before his death. The service will conclude with the stripping of the altar in darkness, and the congregation is invited to remain for an hour of silent vigil.
The following night, St. Matthew’s will commemorate Jesus’ death on the cross during a traditional Episcopal Good Friday service at 7 p.m. Then on Saturday, the great vigil of Easter will take place at 7:30 p.m. The Easter vigil is the climax of the Christian year, and it’s the most ancient service in the church, according to Lloyd. The service will begin in a darkened church with the lighting of a new fire, then it will build in a dramatic way through readings, music and prayers to the first alleluias of Easter.
On Sunday morning, Lloyd will share the story of Christ’s resurrection at 8 a.m. and again at 10 a.m.
At Central Baptist Church, the Rev. Kathryn Palen on Maundy Thursday will offer a remembrance of the final week of Jesus’ life through a service of communion and Tenebrae. The observance begins at 7:30 p.m.
Central Baptist will host Jamestown’s ecumenical Good Friday service this year. Christian parishioners from all three churches are invited to the church at noon for a ceremony based on the stations of the cross. Later that night, Central Baptist will have a service of reflection and prayer at 7:30 p.m.
On Easter Sunday, Palen will lead a sunrise service at Beavertail State Park at 6 a.m. The ceremony will take place in parking lot 3, followed by breakfast at the church at 6:30 a.m. A worship service will follow at 9:30 a.m. Palen’s sermon is titled, “When the right words find us.”
At St. Mark, the Rev. William O’Neill will lead a Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday at 7 p.m. On Good Friday, there will be two services. At 3 p.m., the congregation will hear about the stations of the cross, and then at 7 p.m., there will be a celebration of the passion.
On Holy Saturday, O’Neill will direct the Easter vigil Mass, and on Easter Sunday, St. Mark will have services at 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.