Event Details

Holy Week 2024

Date & Time

March 23, 2024 5:00 PM


March 31, 2024 12:00 PM


Saint James Episcopal Church

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Saint James' Episcopal Church

About the Event

Holy Week Services

Holy Week services dramatically walk us through Jesus’ last days and allow us to more fully enter the story and receive the love poured out for us. The experience of Holy Week also adds to the richness, joy, and bounding hope of Easter.

March 23 - Handel's Messiah, Saturday at 5:00pm

The Adult Choir of Saint James’, once more in conjunction with the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra and other ensembles of note, will present selections from the Easter portion of Handel’s Messiah.

Although the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah tends to command more performances, the lesser heard Easter portion is equally, if not more, grand in scope, musicality, and spirit; be sure to attend for a unique and powerful experience that will shape Holy Week at Saint James’ in a remarkably meaningful way.

March 24 - Palm Sunday, 8:00 and 10:15am

This service stands out for its jarring transition from the joy of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem to his arrest and death upon the cross. His entry is celebrated with the waving of palms in procession (at 8am from the back of the church, at 10:15 from the courtyard). During the liturgy of the Word we read the Passion in parts and conclude with Jesus being laid in the tomb.

March 28 - Maundy Thursday 7:00pm

There is heaviness in the air as Jesus gathers his closest friends with the knowledge that his Passover meal will be his last meal they will share together on this side of the grave. We also remember that on this night Jesus washed his friends' feet to illustrate his new commandment that we love one another the way that he had loved them. Then after we break bread together we acknowledge Christ’s impending death by stripping the altar. Finally we silently depart with the Reserve Sacrament into the courtyard for a time of silent prayer and reflection, our Garden of Gethsemane, to pray and “stay awake” in solidarity with Christ.

March 29 - Good Friday Liturgy, Noon and 7:00pm

Our poignant Good Friday services will begin in silence and will include a reading of the Passion according to John, solemn prayer, and then the veneration of the cross. Following the noon service until 3pm the nave will be open for people to follow the Stations of the Cross. The 7pm service will include the choir and instrumental accompaniment.

March 30 – The Great Vigil of Easter, Saturday 8:00pm

Possibly the most beautiful service of the church year, the Easter Vigil begins outside in our courtyard with the kindling of a fire from which the paschal candle is lit. After processing into the church, each person lights their candle from that paschal candle as the service begins in darkness. While still in the tomb we read of God’s saving work throughout history. Then after we have proclaimed our new life in Christ through the renewing of our baptismal covenant, we reign in Easter with the lighting of the altar candles, the illuminating the worship area, and singing and ringing of bells. Then we joyfully celebrate that first Easter Eucharist. The service actually takes us from death to new life and we really experience that Easter moment. If you have not been to the Vigil, please consider making it your Easter celebration. Also, following the service,

Lent is officially over, we will celebrate with a champagne and chocolate reception in the parish hall.

March 31 - Easter Day Eucharist, Sunday 8:00am and 10:15am

Come celebrate Easter Day with us. Having completed our journey and walked through the sorrow of Holy Week, we now come ready to experience Easter Joy. Both our 8am & 10:15 services will be joyful celebrations beginning with the children flowering the cross and following behind it in procession. Joyful music fills the space as we tell the story of the empty tomb and the reverberations of that moment throughout history and in our lives. Following both services our children will continue the celebration as they search for Easter eggs.