St. Philip’s has seven services on Easter Day: 6 a.m. (in the Columbarium garden), 7:45 a.m., two at 9:15 a.m. (one in the Church, one in the Children’s Center Courtyard), 11:15 a.m., 4 p.m. (“Come and See” in the Music Center), and 5:30 p.m. The Great Vigil of Easter, at 7 p.m. on Holy Saturday evening, is considered the first Easter service. There is at least one service each day during the days of Holy Week. For more information see below. For a downloadable schedule, click here.
The Great Vigil of Easter is held on Holy Saturday, March 26, at 7 p.m. The service begins with the Service of Light (lighting the New Fire and Paschal Candle and candlelit procession, with incense), the Vigil recounting the history of our salvation (through readings and chanting), Holy Baptism, and the first Holy Eucharist of Easter. The service will be followed by a potluck reception: participants are invited to bring their favorite sparkling beverage and chocolate finger food, in addition to noisemakers for the Easter Proclamation.
Easter Day, March 27, will begin at St. Philip’s with a sunrise service at 6 a.m., including hymns, with keyboard and trumpet (held in the Columbarium Garden). At 7:45, there will be a Festival Eucharist Rite I (Eucharist in traditional language), including hymns, with organ and trumpet. At 9:15 there will be two services: an All Generations Eucharist and Baptism outside (in the Children’s Center Courtyard) with the St. Nicholas and Cherub Choirs, handbells, and brass, designed for schoolage children and their families, and a Festival Choral Eucharist Rite II (using more modern language, adopted in 1979) in the Church with adult choirs, handbells, and brass. Another Festival Choral Eucharist Rite II, including incense, will take place at 11:15 a.m., again featuring adult choirs and brass. At 4 p.m. there will be a “Come and See” Eucharist for those who are looking for a reinterpretation of traditional theology. At 5:30 p.m. there is an Evening Eucharist Rite II with hymns.
Holy Week Services
On Monday of Holy Week, March 21, there is a Holy Eucharist Rite II service at 5:30 p.m. in the Chapel of the Nativity. At 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 22, there is a Holy Eucharist Rite II and Healing service. On Wednesday, March 23, the final Lenten noontime Holy Eucharist Rite II will take place at 12:15 p.m.
The Ancient Office of Tenebrae, on Wednesday evening, March 23, at 7 p.m., is a moving descent into the darkest days of the church year. The liturgy is a merger of the traditional Matins and Lauds, with plainchant led by the Canterbury Choir and Canterbury Apprentices. During the service all of the lights in the church are progressively extinguished except one candle.
The Triduum, or “three sacred days,” begins on Maundy Thursday through Holy Saturday. The Liturgy of Maundy Thursday, March 24, begins with a supper at 6 p.m. Enjoy lasagna, salad, rolls, and dessert, hosted by St. Philip’s Vestry. The liturgy, at 7 p.m. in the Church, includes the traditional footwashing, Eucharist, and Stripping of the Altar, which symbolizes the laying of Jesus in the tomb. Music will include plainchant.
After the Maundy Thursday service, beginning at 9 p.m. and continuing until 10 a.m. on Friday, March 25, Dante’s Inferno will be read the way the author intended. Each 30-minute segment of the all-night vigil in the Church will include reading of selected cantos from the Inferno, silent meditation, and atmospheric music. Participants may arrive and leave throughout the night. Security will be on site all night.
It is traditional to have a noontime service on Good Friday, to correspond with the time Jesus’ suffering on the cross began. The noon Good Friday service at St. Philip’s, on March 25, includes veneration of the cross, the Solemn Collects, and communion from sacrament reserved at the Maundy Thursday service.
The Children’s Way of the Cross takes place on Good Friday at 5:30 p.m. in the Children’s Center. The Way (or “Stations”) of the Cross is a devotional service of prayer and meditation dating from the early centuries of the Church, with stations representing stops on Jesus’ route to Calvary. This will enable children to experience Good Friday in a way that will better enable them to live humble, sacrificial, joyful lives in the Lord’s service.
At 7 p.m. on March 25, a choral ensemble, soloists, and instruments will present the 17th Century work Die sieben Worte Jesu Christi am Kreuz (The Seven Last Words of Jesus Christ from the Cross) by Heinrich Schütz. Each section of this oratorio focuses on one of the phrases uttered by Jesus from the cross, as recorded in the Gospels.
The public is cordially invited to attend. St. Philip’s In The Hills Episcopal Church is located at the northeast corner of River Road and Campbell Avenue (4440 N. Campbell). Ample parking is provided in the north parking lot or under the solar structure on the east side. It is a good idea not to leave valuables in plain sight in your car during Easter services. The office phone is 299-6421.