Header Image

Lent, Holy Week, and Easter at Christ Church

During the seasons of Lent and Easter, Christians around the world remember the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. Though it challenged paradigms since the first century, we believe His resurrection was a historical event that fulfilled God's long-ago promise to make the world right again.

Lent

During these 40 days leading up to Easter, the Church remembers two significant times of testing in the Bible: Israel’s 40 years of wandering in the wilderness and Jesus’ 40 days of temptation in the wilderness. During Lent we undertake a wilderness journey together, lamenting our own sin and the world's brokenness. We look to Christ crucified as our source of forgiveness, life, and courage to walk in his way. We invite you to consider engaging in the following practices during Lent:

Ashes: Lent begins with an Ash Wednesday service that sounds the theme of “repentance and forgiveness” for the whole journey of Lent.

Almsgiving, Prayer, and Fasting: In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches us how we are to participate in these three practices of devotion to the Lord.

  • Almsgiving: We will have an opportunity to give a special offering on Easter to support ministries of mercy.
  • Prayer: Our Listening Prayer Retreat held on a Saturday morning in March. We also encourage you to establish or re-establish the practice of beginning your day with prayer.
  • Fasting: Some choose a “What am I giving up?” fast during Lent so that they can create space and awareness for a new “What am I taking up?” spiritual practice.

Scripture: We encourage you to devote a portion of your day to sit with the Scriptures and listen to the Lord’s Word. The following are books that you might find helpful:

  • Falling Into Goodness: Lenten Reflections by Chuck DeGroat
  • Show Me the Way: Daily Lenten Readings by Henry Nouwen
  • A Way Other Than Our Own: Devotions for Lent by Walter Brueggemann
  • Good Dirt: Lent, Holy Week and Eastertide by Lacy Finn Borgo and Ben Barczi

Music: Last year our Worship Arts Team recorded Songs of Longing, Vol. 2. We invite you to listen and sing along.

 

Holy Week

The seven days leading up to Easter begin with Palm Sunday and culminate in a three-day observation of Jesus' death and resurrection. At Christ Church, we have different services or special gatherings for each of these days. We believe these services more fully engage us in the story that shapes and defines our lives and prepare us for Easter Sunday.

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week as we remember Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem with joyful music and waving palms.

Maundy Thursday

On this night, we remember Jesus’ last meal with his disciples. He washed their feet and gave them the new commandment to “love one another even as I have loved you.” ‘Maundy’ comes from the Latin word for ‘mandate’ referring to Jesus’ new mandate to “love one another.” At the Berkeley location (2138 Cedar Street) there is a Maundy Thursday worship service at 6:30 pm. For the Oakland and Lafayette locations, Maundy Thursday services are hosted in homes within our neighborhood parishes. Christ Church provides a Maundy Thursday Gatherings Guide - PDF or Online, as well as a Full Passover Seder Guide - PDF.

Good Friday

During this meditative worship service, we remember and reflect on the crucifixion using Scripture, prayer, music, and art to guide us along the “Way of the Cross.” Please plan to arrive early and enter quietly. The service concludes in silence.

Holy Saturday Easter Vigil

This dramatic evening service begins outside with fire and then processes into the Sanctuary for several Scripture readings that record the history of redemption from Genesis to the Gospels. The service also includes Communion, some singing ... and cowbells.

Easter

On Easter Sunday, Christians celebrate the bodily resurrection of Jesus and the renewal of all things, and begin the 50-day season of Easter, sometimes called Eastertide. At Christ Church, Easter services involve Scripture reading, joyful songs, and Communion to help us bodily celebrate the meaning of Jesus' resurrection.

We encourage you to bring your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers to church with you. Christ Church provides childcare for children infant through preschool. Elementary-aged children join adults in the worship services.