Holy Week and Easter at Saint James

Observing the Triduum

As we move from Lent into Holy Week and the Triduum, the three-day period from Maundy Thursday evening through Easter evening, we invite you to partake of these activities and worship opportunities to deepen and enrich your journey through Good Friday and into Easter morning.

Saturday Night U2Charist Service

Available for viewing Saturday, March 27th after 5 PM

The powerful music of U2 leads us into Holy Week in an online service led by Mother Shayna Watson and Fr. David Peck. Chris Keeney (vocals/guitar) and the Duke Street Band (Jay Poff, vocals; Daniel Wilson, bass; and Andy Snyder, drums) offer the songs Pride, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Where the Streets Have No Name, One, and Beautiful Day. Fr. David preaches a sermon entitled “One Man Comes in the Name of Love.” Click here to view the service from our streaming services page.

Palm Sunday

Sunday, March 28, 10:30 AM
In-person and online, no registration needed, COVID protocols in effect.

Palm Sunday services begin with a congregational procession into the churchyard with palms and follows the Passion story. Click here to view the service from our streaming services page.

CYF Foot Washing in the Cloister Fountain Area

Thursday, April 1, 5:30 PM
Masks and social distancing kindly requested.

Families who would like to engage in the symbolic gesture of washing the feet of others in their family are asked to bring a towel from home. Chairs and pitchers of water will be provided for our brief observance.

Holy Eucharist and Stripping of the Altar

Thursday, April 1, 7:30 PM
In-person and online, no registration needed, COVID protocols in effect.

This service is the commemoration of the institution of Holy Communion by Jesus as we reflect on his commandment to love one another as He loved us. We recount Jesus' last supper with the disciples, being betrayed and waiting in the Garden of Gethsemane. Click here to view the service from our streaming services page.

All Night Vigil

After the 7:30 Maundy Thursday service until Good Friday, 7 AM
In-person and online, COVID protocols in effect.

The all night vigil with prayer and meditation takes place in the sanctuary immediately following the 7:30 PM Maundy Thursday service and continues until Good Friday at 7 AM. Small groups sign up to "keep watch" in the "garden" with Jesus for one hour in the chapel.

Those interested in participating may click here to sign up for a particular time slot throughout the night. Detailed instructions, along with materials to assist in prayer and meditation are provided on the night of the vigil. If you are not able to attend in person but would like to participate from home, click here to view a video to guide you through an hour of vigil-keeping.

Walk of Witness with Stations of the Cross

Friday, April 2, 7:30 AM
Social distancing and masks kindly requested.

We meet in the cloister to begin a contemplative prayer walk commemorating Christ's journey to the cross. We also reflect on the world's need for Christ and his resurrection.

The Seven Last Words of Christ 12 - 3 PM

Friday, April 2, 12 - 3 PM

This 90 minute video on the Seven Last Words of Christ was produced by the Lancaster Downtown Ministerium.

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

Veneration of the Cross

Friday, April 2, 7:30 PM
In-person and online, no registration needed, COVID protocols in effect.

The tradition of venerating the cross began in the 4th century with a Spanish nun who, on Good Friday, would display parts of the holy wood of the cross on which Christ died, for veneration* by pilgrims. This custom made its way into several liturgies as part of the Triduum, the three-day period from the evening of Maundy Thursday through Easter evening.

We venerate the cross not because Christ died on it, but because by the cross, salvation has entered the whole world. Click here to view the service from our streaming services page.

Compline, Ancient Prayers for the Modern Soul

Friday, April 2, 9 PM
In-person and online, no registration needed, COVID protocols in effect.

The service of Compline {pronounced cóm-plin} is based on the closing time of prayer in the Daily Office, or monastic cycle of prayer. It is said in monasteries around 9:00 PM when darkness has fallen and bedtime is near. The thoughts that inspire the prayers during Compline are the need for divine forgiveness and protection against the powers of darkness. Prayers for peace and rest are also spoken or sung as night falls. Click here to view the service from our streaming services page.

Easter Vigil and Lighting of the Easter Fire

Saturday, April 3, 7:30 PM
In-person and online, no registration needed, COVID protocols in effect.

This is the first and central liturgy of Easter. Beginning Saturday evening in holy darkness out of which the Easter fire is kindled and candles are lit, we recount from our scriptures the saving works of God. Click hereto visit our streaming services page.

Easter Sunrise Service

Sunday, April 4, 6:30 AM in the churchyard at Saint James
Social distancing and masks kindly requested.

The Sunrise Service will bring the joy of the Risen Son to the city of Lancaster as we praise God with the rising sun.

CYF Eggstravaganza

Sunday, April 4, 9:30 AM in the churchyard at Saint James
All are welcome. No registration needed! Social distancing and masks kindly requested. 

Our time together will begin with brief words of reflection on the Resurrection of our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ followed by a song and the search for Easter Bags!

The Easter bags are prefilled for weather-proofing and ease of search this year. If you are not able to attend or cannot stay, please email the church office or call 717.397.4858 to arrange to pick up an Easter Egg Bag for your child.

Easter Sunday

Sunday, April 4, 8:30 & 10:30 AM
In-person and online, no registration needed, COVID protocols in effect.

Father David & Mother Shayna will share with all, in the fullness of the joy of the Easter Mass. After the 10:30 mass, Mother Shayna will celebrate the special joy of baptisms outside by the cloister fountain. This service will be available for viewing all day. Click here to view the service from our streaming services page.

Holy Week for Families

Looking for children and youth programs during Holy Week?

Click here to learn more

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday services begin with a congregational procession into the churchyard with palms and follows the Passion story. The children's choir also sings during the mass.

Bible Foods Dinner

Come and experience our Bible Foods Dinner in the parish house forum room after the family foot washing service or before our Maundy Thursday service. Traditionally, lamb and fish are served, and everyone brings a biblically-inspired side dish or dessert to share potluck style.

Maundy Thursday Family Mass, 4:30 PM

Our Maundy Thursday celebration includes readings, music, foot washing, and Eucharist in the chapel.

Easter Vigil and Lighting of the Easter Fire, 7:30 PM

This is the first and central liturgy of Easter. Beginning Saturday evening in holy darkness out of which the Easter fire is kindled and candles are lit, we recount from our scriptures the saving works of God. Children will hear Godly Play stories in Children’s Chapel and rejoin the congregation to celebrate and share Eucharist. Lights, bells, and incense attend the joyous

Good Friday Family Stations of the Cross, 4:30 PM

Follow Jesus from the Garden of Gethsemane to his death on the cross in this solemn Good Friday service. We will pause at each station in the churchyard to read and to pray with Jesus in his journey to the cross. The service is structured with children and families in mind, but all are welcome. We'll gather in the cloister to begin our journey.

Veneration of the Cross, 7:30 PM

The tradition of venerating the cross began in the 4th century with a Spanish nun who, on Good Friday, would display parts of the holy wood of the cross on which Christ died, for veneration* by pilgrims. This custom made its way into several liturgies as part of the Triduum, the three-day period from the evening of Maundy Thursday through Easter evening.

We venerate the cross not because Christ died on it, but because by the cross, salvation has entered the whole world. At Saint James, worshipers are invited to come forward to touch, kiss or kneel before the cross if they wish.

The Seven Last Words of Christ 12 - 3 PM

This three-hour devotion on the Seven Last Words of Christ is an Ecumenical service led by the Downtown Ministerium with music presented by Saint James. All are invited to attend. Come and go as you wish.

Easter Sunday

8:30 & 10:30 AM Both our 8:30 and 10:30 masses include the Festal Eucharist with Brass and Children’s Chapel. Nursery care is also available at both services.