Between Palm Sunday and Easter, there are about 15 services at the Church of the Holy Spirit. Which ones should you bring your kids to? Although children are welcome at any and all services during Holy Week at Holy Spirit, here are the church’s recommendations for the top 6 (in order of when they occur, not preference!) which will help them draw closer to God as we all wonder at the mystery of Easter:
1) Palm Sunday (March 24) at 9:30 AM. Children join in the Procession of Psalms, re-enacting Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. While adults enact the Passion Gospel in the church, children go to Sunday School where they learn about the events that led to Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion. This service sets the stage for all the events of Holy Week and Easter.
2) Maundy Thursday (March 28) at 7:00 PM. This service is good for older children and youth. At this service, those who wish to may wash each other’s feet as Jesus washed his disciples’ feet prior to the Last Supper. At the end of the service, the altar is solemnly stripped of all its decorations and finery, and we process together in darkness into the Chapel where the All Night Vigil will take place. Teens may want to join parents for an hour to re-enact watching with Christ while he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, just before He was arrested and taken away.
3) Good Friday (March 29) Stations of the Cross for Little Children at 10 AM. With their parents, children can carry the cross, touch the nails, feel the crown of thorns and taste the vinegar as they process through the Stations of the Cross in an age-appropriate, multi-sensory way. This service is always a favorite among children.
4) Good Friday Stations of the Cross for Older Children and Youth at 7 PM. This year’s Stations of the Cross will be an individual, meditative worship experience especially appropriate for adults and older youth.
5) Easter Vigil, Saturday, March 30, at 8 PM: Good for older children and youth because of the beauty and drama, this service begins in the dark. The Easter Fire is made from flint and steel, from which the Paschal Candle is lit; the candle will burn throughout the Easter Season. Parts of the salvation history are read, and we renew our Baptismal vows. Then the entire church is illuminated, the Resurrection is proclaimed and we rejoice in the light of the world which the darkness has not overcome. Christ is risen: He is risen indeed!
6) Easter Sunday, March 31, at 9:30 AM: Our Easter service is full of uplifting music and joy and is followed by a traditional Easter Egg Hunt on the Parish Lawn (weather permitting).
PALM SUNDAY, March 24
9:30 am: Holy Communion and Procession with the Palms and
Reading of the Passion according to St. Luke
Monday & Tuesday, March 25 & March 26
7-7:30 pm: Stations of the Cross
Wednesday, March 27
7 am: Holy Communion followed by breakfast
7 pm: Tenebrae, half-hour service of psalms and readings
Maundy Thursday, March 28
7 pm: Holy Communion and Solemn Stripping of the Altar
8 pm—7 am: Prayer Vigil (in turns of 1 hour) at the Altar of Repose
Good Friday, March 29
7 am: Morning Prayer & Communion from the Reserved Sacrament
10 am: Stations of the Cross for Children 3– 10 years
Noon: Good Friday Worship Service & Communion
7 pm: Good Friday Worship Service with Program for Youth 10-older
Holy Saturday, March 30
8—9:30 pm: The Great Vigil of Easter with lighting of Easter Fire and Holy Baptism
EASTER SUNDAY: THE SUNDAY OF THE RESURRECTION, March 31
9:30 am: Choral Eucharist followed by Easter Egg Hunt
Second Sunday of Easter, April 7
9:30 am: Holy Communion & Flowering of the Cross
For more information, please call the church at 973-239-2850, or visit http://holyspirit-verona.dioceseofnewark.org/