Lent, Holy Week & Easter Resources
For many folks the Christian experience is one in which we remember the actions of Jesus regularly, however, they can sometimes feel like little more than just that, remembrances. True, Jesus said to do many things to remember him and show others that we are his disciples (the sharing of a holy meal, loving one another as Jesus has loved us, baptizing, etc.), but what makes Holy Week different is that it is not done just to remember Jesus. It is a real moment in real time. It’s NOT just a memorial!
Holy Week is a lived experience. The late-4th century pilgrim Egeria wrote extensively about her own trip to the Holy Land during the season of Lent, and what she found was not simply services done to remember Jesus’ final days but daily prayers and liturgies in which regular folks walked with Jesus through his agony and glory. For example, Egeria noted that the Bishop of Jerusalem sat atop a donkey and rode down the Mount of Olives on Palm Sunday, embodying the actions of Jesus. The same was true on Maundy Thursday, when the Bishop washed the feet of the city’s poor. And on Good Friday the people walked the Via Dolorosa, the path through Jerusalem that leads to Golgotha, taking each agonizing step along the way with their Lord. This was no mere commemoration of a past event. This was a very real experience, and Christians in the Orthodox (eastern) and Catholic (western) traditions continue to walk with Jesus through the Washing of Feet on Maundy Thursday to the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday and the first moment of Resurrection at the Great Vigil of Easter. As Episcopalians, we are inheritors of these traditions.
We call this the Paschal Triduum, one worship spread over the course of three sacred days. The worship begins with the Maundy Thursday liturgy, continues with the walk with Jesus on Good Friday, and concludes with the celebration of Christ’s resurrection at the Great Vigil of Easter on Saturday night. While it may be exhausting for some – especially clergy – it is and incredibly powerful experience.
So join us as we gather together to hear the story, to pray, to wash feet, to break bread, and to experience the glory of these holy days with our Lord!
Be sure to look at the bottom of this page for several FREE Lent Resources that can be used by you and your family.
Tuesday, February 13 - Shrove Tuesday
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper on February 13 5:30-6:30PM!
Bring in your palms as we will be burning them just outside the church at 5:30pm with a quick prayer. In order to have enough food for everyone, please RSVP to either regular or gluten free pancakes. Do include children as they eat too! There will be applesauce and sausage as sides.
Optional Donations ($5 or $10 for families) will be taken at the door to offset cost of the food.
If you have any questions, please contact Nancy Graham at 315-317-0138.
Wednesday, February 14 - Ash Wednesday
7:00 am, Noon, 7:00 pm: Holy Eucharist & Imposition of Ashes – Sanctuary This solemn service marks the beginning of the season of Lent. During this service, ashes are imposed on the forehead of participants in the symbol of a cross, with the words “remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
9:00 – 11:00 am: Sacrament of Reconciliation – Downstairs Prayer Room.
Father Joe is available during these hours for absolution to hear your confession, if you choose to make one, as you head into the season of Lent.
2:00 – 4:00 pm: Ashes to Go
If you are out and about and cannot make an in-person liturgy this day, Fr. Joe will be outside in the village to impose ashes. Location TBA.
Fridays During Lent - Stations of the Cross
6:00 pm, Stations of the Cross – Sanctuary
Each Friday during Lent, the Stations of the Cross will be prayed in the sanctuary at 6:00 pm. This prayerful worship is led by lay people and takes a short while but is a powerful experience. We will be praying the Overcoming Racism edition of the Stations, using images created by Janet McKenzie expressly for this practice. Pick a Friday between February 16 and March 17 to come to the sanctuary to pray, or you can walk the Stations yourself on a Sunday morning, as they will remain in the nave of the sanctuary throughout the season.
Wednesday during Lent - Lenten Music Series: History of Music in the Church
February 21-March 20 on Wednesdays at 5pm
Classes will begin on February 21-March 20 on Wednesdays at 5pm-History of Music in the Church with Justin Oei. In our Anglican tradition, music and liturgy are almost inextricably intertwined. Join our organist, Justin Oei, for a five-week Lenten study about the history, practice, and future of music in the Episcopal Church and beyond. No musical training or knowledge is necessary, and you won’t be forced to sing on the spot (unless you want to!). We will of course delve into the Western traditions that heavily influence our worship, but we will also explore music making in the global Church as well. Contact Justin for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“When in our music God is glorified…”: Music and Christianity in Context
Whether we consciously think about it or not, music is almost inextricable from our experience of the Divine during our worship together. It’s not just true for Episcopalians, or even Christians: sung liturgy is part of the ritual of every major religious tradition, all over the world.
This five-week Lenten study takes its inspiration from Fred Pratt Green’s hymn “When In Our Music God is Glorified” (#420 in the hymnal). Each of the five verses of the hymn will serve as the departure point for our weekly discussions, from the history of sacred music to the instruments we use for music-making. Join us on Wednesdays from 5-6 in the parish hall – and don’t worry, Justin won’t make you sing (unless you want to!).
Week 1: “When, in our music, God is glorified…”: Why is music such an important part of Christian worship?
Week 2: “And did not Jesus sing a psalm that night?”: Christianity and Music from the early church to the Reformation
Week 3: “So has the church in liturgy and song…”: Sacred Music in Western Christianity from the Reformation to the Present
Week 4: “…a new dimension in the world of sound…”: The future(s) of Church Music
Week 5: “Let every instrument be tuned for praise!”: An introduction to the organ
Sunday, March 24 - Palm Sunday
10:00 am, Combined Eucharist w/Procession of Palms – Outside/Sanctuary
Join us for a combined worship as we begin Holy Week! Weather permitting, we will start in the lakeside area with the distribution of palm branches (parish hall, if the weather is bad), and continue with a procession into the main sanctuary and a reading of Jesus’ passion narrative, followed by Holy Eucharist.
Monday, March 25 - Holy Monday
6:00 pm, Dramatic Reading of the Gospel of Mark – Sanctuary
Throughout this year we are journeying with the first account of Jesus’ earthly ministry, the Gospel According to Mark. Join us in the sanctuary as we experience this story the way it was originally presented, as a dramatic reading. We will hear the story of Jesus, life and death, the empty tomb and the Good News he brought then and continues to bring us now.
Tuesday, March 26 - Holy Tuesday
6:00 pm, Tenebrae – Sanctuary
This sacred liturgy is done by candlelight and takes its name from the Latin for “darkness” or “shadows.” As the lights are gradually extinguished, we recall Christ who alone remains at the center of our hearts, and as the loud noise sounds near the end, we recall the earth quaking at his resurrection for which we prepare to come at the close of the week.
Wednesday, March 27 - Holy Wednesday
12:00 pm Healing Eucharist
Join us each Wednesday for a 30-minute healing worship. This midweek check in helps center and recharge your spiritual batteries. Bring your prayers for yourself and others and receive the blessing of the Lord as you continue your week. All are welcome!
6:00 pm, Evening Prayer – Sanctuary
Sometimes we just need something simple, yet reliable. That is exactly what Evening Prayer at 6:00 pm offers. This hybrid liturgy is lay-led and has a devoted congregation both in the sanctuary and on Zoom. If you’ve never tuned in before, Holy Week is the perfect time to start!
Thursday, March 28 - Maundy Thursday
6:00 p.m. Agape Meal Begins in the Parish Hall
This is the last night of Jesus’ life. The name comes from the “mandate” that Jesus gives to his disciples to love one another, and to show that love by washing each other’s feet. This night also marks Jesus’ Last Supper, which was not a Passover seder, but rather something new that Christians would emulate in the centuries after. On this night we gather in the parish hall at 6:00 pm for an Agape Meal, also known as a Love Feast. This simple meal of olives, nuts, cheeses, soups, and breads not only resembles the Last Supper, but it helps prepare our bodies and souls to endure what Jesus is about to go through. It even gradually evolved into our celebration of the Holy Eucharist! When the meal concludes, we seamlessly move into our worship, just as Jesus and his disciples did, washing one another’s feet as we sing and hear the story once more. Afterwards, we will process into the sanctuary to celebrate the Holy Eucharist and witness the Stripping of the Altar, calling us back to Jesus’ arrest. The reserve Sacrament will be set upon the Peace Altar, which will serve as our Garden of Gethsemane, and you will be invited to sit and pray in the nave for as long as you wish. This vigil watch will continue throughout the night, so be sure to sign up and come sit with our Lord for an hour.
Overnight Watch 8pm-8am Sanctuary
St. James’ Annual Tradition of “watching overnight” for each hour. We ask for you to sign up online HERE and for safety -please have at least 2 people in the church at each hour. This vigil watch will continue throughout the night, so be sure to sign up and come sit with our Lord for an hour.
Friday, March 29 - Good Friday
12:00 p.m., Ecumenical Stations of the Cross-Begins at St. Mary’s Catholic Church Skaneateles
A Skaneateles tradition in recent years has been the ecumenical Stations of the Cross, which will begin at Noon on this day at St. Mary’s. Join our sisters and brothers in Christ as we walk our own version of the Via Dolorosa, recalling Christ’s final steps together.
3:00 pm, which was the hour that Jesus died, we will gather in the sanctuary to pray the liturgy for this day, in which we hear the Passion story once again and have the opportunity to offer our own individual devotions at the cross.
Saturday, March 30 - The Great Vigil of Easter
2:00 p.m., St. James’ Easter Egg Hunt-RSVP HERE so we can have enough eggs.
8:00 p.m., The Great Vigil of Easter
As the sun sets on Jesus’ sabbath rest in the tomb, we gather at 8:00 pm to mark the Great Vigil of Easter, the most solemn and holy liturgy of the Christian tradition. The liturgy begins outside the church doors with the Lighting of the First Fire. The Paschal Candle, which symbolizes the light of Christ, is processed into the dark sanctuary as the ancient prayer known as the Exsultet is chanted. By candlelight we hear the story of God’s power in creation, the redemption of the children of Israel out of Egypt, and new life being brought to dry bones. Still in the dark we will gather around the waters for Holy Baptism and the renewal of our own baptismal promises, and with the shout of “Alleluia!” the lights will come on and Easter’s dawn will break as we share the first Eucharist of the season of Resurrection! You don’t want to miss it!
Sunday, March 31-Easter Sunday
There’s nothing like Easter at St. James’! Join us on this Day of Resurrection at any of our regular three liturgies: (9am & 11am will be live-streamed)
7:30 am (Holy Eucharist, Rite I) 9:00 am (Holy Eucharist, Rite II with Choir)
*11:00 am (Contemporary Holy Eucharist with Praise Band)
*Note the time change for the late morning liturgy!
2024 Easter Flowers
Each year, St. James' Easter Flowers & decorations are due to the generous donations of parishioners honoring their loved ones. The 2024 Easter Flower Donations are due by March 24-Palm Sunday. Please submit your form to the Parish Office.