Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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Observing Holy Week

This year we observe Holy Week from the separateness of our homes. These are days when we will especially miss being with our community of faith, sharing the sacramental acts and stories that tell us who we are. Yet in our hearts and our prayers, we know that we are united, one body through Jesus Christ. I therefore invite you to bring a special intention to observe the sacred days of Holy Week with your own devotions.

Maundy Thursday
Good Friday
Easter Sunday


Maundy Thursday, April 9

Maundy Thursday is a day packed with significance. We remember Jesus' washing the feet of his disciples; we remember his last supper and the institution of the sacrament of his body and blood; we remember his agony in the garden, his betrayal, and his arrest.

Read the scripture story: John 13:1-38 and John 18:1-11; or Matthew 26:17-56.

The St. James' website home page has Charles' Maundy Thursday video message.

At 7:00pm, attend the Holy Eucharist with Stripping of the Altar online at the Washington National Cathedral.

Perform an act of humble service, appropriate to your circumstances.

  • If you are with others, you can wash one another's feet or hands. Use a basin of warm water, fragrant soap, and fluffy dry towels. Take the time to wash and dry carefully and tenderly. Let someone do this for you.
  • If you are by yourself, call someone who might need to hear from you, or reach out to someone with whom you have been out of touch. Let them know that you are thinking of them, that you care for them, that you love them. Offer a prayer for those people who need your help, but who are out of your reach.
  • After you have done something for another, offer this prayer:

Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, gave freely of himself to his beloved in the washing of feet and in instituting the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that as we gather in our households we may remember these great gifts of love by Jesus Christ our Lord, and follow his great command to love one another as he eternally loves us all; who has given himself for the whole world, and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

On Maundy Thursday we also remember Jesus' last supper with his friends, when he gave us bread and wine to be for us his body and blood. Remember this meal with special prayers over the wine, bread, and other foods of your meal, and conclude the meal with a reading from Scripture, a Psalm, and another prayer. Download and use this short order for "A Maundy Thursday Meal."


Good Friday, April 10

On Good Friday we remember the death of Jesus on the cross, his life given for us. It is a day for quiet and solemn prayer and reflection. 

Read the scriptures of Jesus’ Passion and death: John 18:12-19:42 or Matthew 26:57-27:66

The St. James' website home page links to a 30 minute walk-through of the St. James' Stations of the Cross.

At noon, observe the Solemn Liturgy of Good Friday online at the Washington National Cathedral

At the center of the Good Friday worship are the Solemn Collects. Download and follow these “Good Friday Prayers.” Add your own prayers and petitions as indicated.


Easter Sunday, April 12

Alleluia! Christ is risen! 
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia! 

Rejoice in this most joyful day of the Christian year!

Read the story of Jesus' resurrection: John 20:1-18 or Matthew 28:1-10.

The St. James' website home page has links to an Easter message from Charles.

Worship with our neighboring Episcopal churches in Online Easter Sunday Prayers at 10:45am. We will finish these prayers in time for all to join the Festive Holy Eucharist online at the Washington National Cathedral at 11:15am. The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, will be preaching.

Put Easter Eggs in your windows where passers-by may see them.

For the kids, take part in a MINECRAFT EASTER EGG HUNT. It starts on Easter Sunday at 7:00pm, and you can register to play at https://tcalf.com/minecraft