In Holy Week we walk with Jesus and his disciples through the events of the last days of his earthly life–the tenderness, the injustice, the agony, the apparent finality of death. Why do we face into these terrible events intentionally, remembering them and almost re-enacting them in the services of Holy Week? Isn’t there enough darkness and difficulty in the world? I’ve been wondering that myself this Lent.
Bishop Steven Charleston in his book Ladder to the Light speaks of the kiva, the dark, underground holy place of the native peoples of the Southwest, as a spiritual metaphor. Entering intentionally into this darkness, as we do during Holy Week, we discover that it is not fearsome, but generative. Jesus’s story shows us that the way of the cross, the way of self-giving love, is the only way of true life. The darkness of Holy Week is like the darkness of the kiva: It is the darkness of the womb, the place from which new life can come.
We have been through two pandemic Holy Weeks. “Holy Week at Home” in 2020, and a creative, partially re-gathered Holy Week, including an Easter Art Walk, in 2021. Now for the first time in three cycles of our sacred days, we will be able to gather in person. We have exciting, nationally known guest preachers for Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Most are live-streamed, and Holy Week at Home is still available for you along with other resources. However you observe these Great Three Days, know that walking the way of the cross is the deepest way to experience the new life of Easter. Read on for all the ways to keep Holy Week and celebrate Easter with Grace this year!
In the deep peace of the Risen One,
Maundy Thursday we remember Jesus’ last supper with his disciples, when he gave them bread and wine as his body and blood and lovingly washed their feet. Jesus left the last supper with his disciples and went out to the garden of Gethsemane, where he prayed all night until he was eventually arrested. The 2020 short films by Brian Capener, Mandatum and Watch commemorate these two movements of Maundy Thursday.
7PM Holy Eucharist, Rev. Amy presiding and Rev. Wendy preaching, with optional footwashing, concluding with the solemn stripping of the altar, leaving the sanctuary bare and stark for Good Friday. (Live streamed)
10PM-10AM Watch and Pray an hour in the sanctuary on this holy night, alone or with loved ones (sign up HERE or by calling the office.)
Good Friday commemorates Jesus’ death on the cross. The gospels say he was nailed to the cross at noon, and died three hours later. Brian Capener’s 2020 short film Good Friday includes the Passion gospel set to art.
12PM Walk and Pray at the 14 stations of the cross in the sanctuary (bilingual)
12:30 PM Good Friday service, Rev. Amy presiding and Bishop Alan Scarfe, our clergy-in-charge for Amy’s sabbatical this summer, will be preaching. (Live streamed)
7PM Taize on the Labyrinth. A meditative Good Friday service outdoors on the Labyrinth.
Holy Saturday Jesus rested in the tomb, while the disciples kept the Sabbath utterly bereft. Sometime before dawn on Easter morning, Jesus arose. The Great Vigil of Easter is an ancient tradition, including fire, candlelight, incense, chant, the renewal of Baptismal Vows, and a festive Easter Eucharist. It lasts about two hours.
8PM The Great Vigil of Easter with special guest preacher The Rev. Mark Jefferson, PhD, preaching professor at Virginia Theological Seminary. The Revs. Robin Denney and Amy Denney Zuniga will co-preside at this service, held at Grace jointly with St. Mary’s Napa. (Bilingual, live streamed)
Brian Capener’s 2020 short films Darkness and Dawn are based on the Easter Vigil.
Easter Sunday Christ is Risen! Celebrate with Grace the joy of new life that can never be taken away.
8AM Holy Eucharist Rite I with Bishop Alan Scarfe presiding, Rev. Amy preaching
10AM Holy Eucharist Rite II with Choir–Bishop Alan Scarfe presiding, Rev. Amy preaching
11:30AM Children’s Easter Egg Hunt. Note: There is no separate children’s and youth programming this day; families are invited to enjoy church together!
“Now the light is coming, running like liquid beneath the heavy shadows of night, slipping in from the cracks and crevices of life, restoring the dry and empty places, bringing new life to the barren hope of years long past. Soon the brightness cannot be contained, but spills out, pours out, to surround your heart with love, to bring you alive once more…. Open your eyes and do not be afraid any longer, for now the light is coming—coming quickly, coming to you—and nothing, not even death, will be able to stop it.”
-Bishop Steven Charleston