We are looking forward to welcoming you back to in-person worship beginning on Palm/Passion Sunday. As we return to worship, know that we take your health safety seriously. Masks and physical distancing will continue to be required. We will not be singing at this time, but look forward to a time when we are able to lift our voices in song again. For Holy Week services, we are requiring those who wish to attend in person to sign up so that we can adhere to our capacity limit for your safety. We are researching ways to allow more in-person participation by opening some overflow areas if that becomes something we need. After Easter, the requirement to sign up for worship will be lifted. Due to the nature of these services, it is imperative that we know how many people to expect.
Holy Week is one of the most important times in the Church’s year. With that in mind, we have planned services that we hope will be meaningful for you and consistent with Trinity’s worship style. There will be some changes to the worship services offered during Holy Week. We know the community at Trinity places a high value on tradition and we have sought to preserve tradition as well as offering some new ways of interpreting this sacred time in the church year.
On Palm/Passion Sunday we will begin with the traditional Blessing of the Palms. While there will not be the same type of processional you have seen in the past, the worship leaders will process with palms. Because we have entered the Year of Mark in our lectionary cycle, we will hear the Passion of our Lord from the Gospel of Mark. We will read the story in sections. Following each section there will be a response from either the choir members, worship leaders, or congregation. While all the elements of our traditional Sunday worship will be present, they may be celebrated in a different order than you are accustom. These responses offer us the opportunity to reflect on what we are hearing in the story of Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, and crucifixion. We hope this will be a helpful exercise and will set the stage for a meaningful Holy Week. In person worship will be held at 8;15 am and 10:45 am. Drive through Holy Communion will be offered from 12:15 pm to 1:15 pm. Livestream will be offered at 8:15 am. The service also will be broadcast on WCNS radio at 8:15 am.
Holy Wednesday is often called Spy Wednesday which is an allusion to the Gospel reading, in which Judas is identified as the betrayer of Jesus. Traditionally on Holy Wednesday, a service of confession and forgiveness is offered. Our service will center on a longer period of confession, similar to what we did on Ash Wednesday. This will be a Service of the Word with no Communion. In person worship begins at 7:00 pm and will be Livestreamed on Trinity’s Facebook page at the same time.
Maundy Thursday is the day in Holy Week in which Jesus gives us a new commandment to love one another and we hear the story of the Last Supper and Jesus washing the feet of the disciples before he is betrayed and arrested. We share in the story by celebrating Holy Communion together. Several young people are preparing to receive their First Holy Communion on Maundy Thursday and the gathered community will welcome them and their families to the table on this night. In person worship begins at 7:00 pm and will be Livestreamed on Trinity’s Facebook page at the same time.
Good Friday has traditionally offered two worship services. This year we will broadcast a pre-recorded service of The Seven Last Words of Christ. We will premiere seven different videos at different intervals throughout the day beginning at Noon and ending at 3:00 pm—the length of time thought to be that Jesus spent on the cross. The videos will feature guest preachers for each of the seven words.
Good Friday Tenebrae. We will offer a “Service of Shadows” in the style of Tenebrae on Good Friday. The readings will highlight the passion of Jesus and we will hear the Solemn Reproaches sung during the procession of the cross. Candles will be extinguished throughout the service until we see the Christ candle leave the worship space as a visual symbol of Jesus’ words, “it is finished.” In person worship begins at 7:00 pm and will be Livestreamed on Trinity’s Facebook page at the same time.
The Vigil of Easter will be a “hybrid” model this year. Research has shown the longer a group is gathered together in one place, the higher the likelihood of transmission of the virus. We have opted to both pre-record a portion of the Vigil and to gather in-person. The Vigil has four distinct sections, The Service of Light, The Service of the Word, The Service of Holy Baptism, and The Service of Holy Communion. We will pre-record the first two sections, and they will broadcast twice during the day on April 3 and then we will gather in the evening and begin with the Service of Holy Baptism. If we do not have a baptism, there will be thanksgiving and remembrance of our baptism followed by the celebration of Holy Communion. All the traditional elements of the service will be celebrated. The Vigil begins at 7:30 pm.
On Easter Sunday we will celebrate Christ’s resurrection at 8:15 am and 10:45 am. This service is usually the crowning moment of our Holy Week observances. This year is no different, though we will be celebrating differently since we are refraining from congregational singing and not utilizing instruments other than the organ. We hope you will join us. In person worship will be held at 8:15 am and 10:45 am. Drive through Holy Communion will be offered from 12:15 pm to 1:15 pm. Livestream will be offered at 8:15 am. The service also will be broadcast on WCNS radio at 8:15 am.
May God’s peace and presence continue to fill you in this Lenten season,