Behold the Bridegroom Comes

Great Lent is a season that fixes all our thoughts and deeds on the Feast of Feasts, the Pascha of our Lord!  The journey that is Great Lent comes to an end on the eve of Lazarus Saturday (this year April 7). 

With Lazarus Saturday, we take a pause in the strictness of our fasting and celebrate the event that propels our Lord into “celebrity status” among his fellow Jews: the raising of his friend Lazarus from the dead.  Proceeding directly from this joyous event, we offer praise to Jesus as he enters the Holy City on Palm Sunday and is hailed by the people as King.  As King, the Lord cleanses the temple and speaks of the Kingdom of God. 

The glory of these two days is quickly overshadowed by the deep reflection the Church calls us to in the “Bridegroom Services” beginning Sunday evening and continuing through Wednesday evening.  We ponder the End: not only the end of all things, but also our own personal ends.  We examine our lives and our hearts.  We fall before God in repentance, knowing that the Bridegroom is coming and we have only begun to prepare ourselves.  On Holy Wednesday evening, our focus begins to shift back towards the historical events of Holy Week as Judas prepares to betray the Lord. The full horror of Judas’ betrayal, Peter’s denial, and the travesty of Jesus’ trial unfolds on Thursday evening as the Lord is lead “as a sheep to the slaughter.”  We witness him crucified and we hear him exclaim “Father, forgive them…” Our journey continues with the taking of his body down from the Cross on Friday and with the lamentations for him late Friday evening.  Many will keep vigil all night in the church by his body, as we prepare to commemorate the “harrowing of hades” that our Lord performs on the Great Sabbath (Holy Saturday). 

Our joy will be fulfilled early Sunday morning at midnight as we go to the tomb and find, with the women disciples, that it is empty and that Christ is Risen!   We welcome you to make this journey with us and to say with us the glorious words of Pascha: “Christ is Risen!”

Holy Week Service Schedule

Brief explanations of each service (including estimated lengths) can be found on the Service Schedule page below the calendar.

Sat, Apr 7: 9am Lazarus Saturday Liturgy

  • Pancake Breakfast & Palm-folding following
  • 6:30pm Vigil for Palm Sunday

Sun, Apr 8: 10am Palm Sunday Liturgy

  • 6:30pm Bridegroom Matins

Mon, Apr 9: 7am Hours w/ Gospel of Mark (1-8)

  • 6:30pm Bridegroom Matins

Tue, Apr 10: 7am Hours w/ Gospel of Mark (9-16)

  • 6:30pm Bridegroom Matins

Wed, Apr 11: 11:30am Pre-Sanctified Liturgy

  • 6:30pm Bridegroom Matins/Anointing

Thu, Apr 12: 3pm Vesperal Liturgy (Mystical Supper)

  • 6:30pm Matins w/ 12 Passion Gospels

Fri, Apr 13: 9am Royal Hours (Passion)

  • 3pm Vespers of Entombment
  • 6:30pm Matins with Praises

Sat, Apr 14: 9am Vesperal Liturgy (Sabbath)

  • Special Meal and Cleaning Time
  • 11:30pm Paschal Nocturnes

Sun, Apr 15 The Pascha of our Lord!

  • Procession and Matins at midnight
  • Paschal Liturgy at about 1:15am
  • Paschal Meal at about 3am
  • 2pm Agape Vespers (Highbridge Park)
  • Picnic following for all!

Mon, Apr 16: 9am Bright Monday Liturgy

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