Holy Week 2023 at our church in downtown Wilmington, Delaware starts with the promise of Palm Sunday, becomes tragic on Good Friday, but ends joyfully on Easter Sunday with the promise fulfilled.
Here are brief descriptions of why each day of Holy Week is significant and how we, as a church, recognize their significance. Times of worship services are in red.
Palm Sunday, April 2, 2023, when palms are distributed, is dominated by two liturgical events: the re-enactment of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and the reading of the Passion narrative, this year according to Luke. Services at 8am and 10:30am. Live and on-demand on YouTube and Facebook.
The Way of the Cross (Stations of the Cross): this devotion dates back to the earliest centuries of the Church when pilgrims to Jerusalem would walk the land where Jesus lived and trace his path, with prayer, meditation and devotion at each stop (station). Service on Wednesday, April 5, 7:30pm.
The Three Days – Triduum Sacrum – April 6-8, 2023 – is the name given to the three sacred days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. These days, immediately preceeding Easter, commemorate the final meal, betrayal, arrest, trial, execution, and burial of Jesus the Christ.
Maundy Thursday, April 6, 2023 includes the Mass of the Last Supper and foot washing with the service ending with the stripping of the altar, a powerful expression of the abandonment of Christ by his followers. Service at 7:30pm. Live and on-demand on YouTube and Facebook.
Good Friday, April 7, 2023, the most solemn day of the year, includes the singing of John’s account of the Passion of Christ, solemn prayers (collects) and the veneration of the Cross. The service also includes communion from the Reserved Sacrament. Service at Noon. Live and on-demand on YouTube and Facebook.
Holy Saturday, April 8, 2023, which commemorates the day that Jesus Christ’s body laid in the tomb, includes a brief liturgy, and is followed by an opportunity to meet with clergy for prayer, confession, healing and reconciliation. Service at 9:30am.