The Book of Common Prayer issues the following invitation: “I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word” (p. 265).

I hope the invitation to observe a Holy Lent has born much fruit in your lives this sacred season. Soon we will be preparing to celebrate the high feast days in the Episcopal Church’s liturgical year or Holy Week. In order to mark these days as special,

I have scheduled various prayers for every day of holy week. Please refer to the Holy Week Schedule to see what is scheduled each day of the week. For your convenience, all of the evening services are scheduled at 6:00 p.m. The exceptions are Good Friday when Epiphany will pray The Way of the Cross at 12:15 p.m. (in addition to the principle service at 6:00 p.m.), and the Holy Saturday Prayer Service which will take place at 10:00 a.m. May your participation in the drama of Holy Week fill you with abounding love, joy and peace. Fr. Matt

April 9: The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday

The Liturgy for Palm Sunday is in two parts.  
*The Liturgy of the Palms celebrates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.
*The second part of the liturgy changes from triumph to tragedy as it focuses on the suffering and death of Jesus. During this week, we will rediscover what God has done for us, rediscover the meaning of our Baptism as well as what it means to share in the Eucharist 
April 10 & 11: On Monday and Tuesday of Holy Week, Epiphany will celebrate Evening Prayer in the Church at 6:00 p.m.
 
April 12: On Wednesday of Holy Week, the Eucharist with Unction will be offered at 6:00 p.m.
April 13: Maundy Thursday – The Eucharist – begins the Sacred Triduum, or The Three Sacred Days of our redemption. Beginning at 6:00 p.m. (please note that all the services during Holy Week begin at 6:00 p.m.), we celebrate our Lord’s institution of the sacrament of his Body and Blood. We hear the ancient instructions for celebrating the Passover, Paul’s account of the institution of the Eucharist, and John’s account of the moment when Jesus washed his disciples’ feet.
 
After Holy Communion on this night, the altar is stripped, and the Sacrament is placed on the Altar of Repose, where it will be available for Holy Communion on Good Friday. Everyone is invited to keep vigil in the church in response to Jesus’ question, “Could you not watch with me for one hour?”

The night ends with Tenebrae at 8:00 p.m. It is important to realize that with the close of Maundy Thursday, the liturgy does not actually end. Rather, the celebration of the mysteries of our redemption are of such magnitude that three days are necessary to plummet their depths. Thus the celebration of our faith continues through Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
April 14: Good Friday –  

This liturgy, celebrated at 6:00 p.m., is the second part of a series of rites which cover the Three Sacred Days of our redemption. This liturgy began on Maundy Thursday evening and will be concluded on Sunday. We will hear proclaimed The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John, followed by prayers for the Church and the world. It was on the cross that Jesus made his full intercession for us, and we are united with him through Baptism in that intercession.

 
The final portions of this liturgy takes place before a cross, where we praise Christ for his love, which he demonstrated on the cross. Then we receive Holy Communion from the reserved Eucharist. At the end of the liturgy, we depart in silence as we prepare for the final act of this three act play: The Great Vigil of Easter.
 
*Please note: Epiphany will also observe The Way of the Cross on Good Friday, April 14, in the Church at 12:15 p.m.
April 15: Holy Saturday Morning – we will gather for a simple Liturgy of the Word service at 10:00 a.m. Throughout the whole of the Christian world, there is no celebration of the Eucharist on Holy Saturday until sunset. After the service, the Church of the Epiphany will begin to prepare the church for Easter.
April 16: The Great Vigil of Easter – St. Augustine first introduced the phrase, “The Paschal Mystery.”   One theologian describes the Paschal Mystery as the saving event by which God in all times and in all places saves the human race. Epiphany will celebrate the Easter Vigil with a Sunrise Service beginning at 6:00 a.m. on Easter Sunday morning. During the Easter Vigil, we recount the following sequence of events.
 
*The kindling of the new fire and the lighting of the Paschal (Easter) Candle.
*The recounting of Passover/Exodus from Egypt, and the entrance into the Promised Land.
*The service of Baptism and renewal of our own Baptismal vows.
*The First Joyful Eucharist of Easter.
 
Following the Easter Vigil, Epiphany will celebrate Easter with a delicious breakfast. We will then conclude our three great days of celebrating the Paschal Mystery with the 10:30 a.m. Easter Sunday Eucharist during which the children flower the cross of our redemption. After the service, there will be an Easter Egg Hunt and refreshments for both the children and adults.
 

Since Maundy Thursday, we have been involved in an extended liturgy which is brought to conclusion at Epiphany’s principle service. This is the day of the Passover of Christ from death into life. It is also the celebration of our own pass-over in Holy Baptism, in which “we were buried with Christ in his death and raised with him into new life.”