Holy Week and Easter

The ceremonies of Holy Week include those of Palm Sunday and the Sacred Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the liturgies of Easter beginning the Great Vigil on Saturday evening). The Triduum begins with sundown on Maundy Thursday and extends until sundown on Easter. It corresponds to the ancient celebration of the Pascha, with two days of fasting and one of celebration. It represent single liturgical act, from Maundy Thursday through Easter. This is the period in which we “pass over” with Christ from death to life, celebrating each event in the drama of our salvation and entering into the mystery of dying and rising again with the Lord of life.

Please join us for any or all of the following services in whatever way you can. 

We open Holy Week with a service marking the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and move to the story of Christ’s utter rejection and crucifixion outside the gates of the city.

Vigil of Passion (Palm) Saturday

  • 5:00 PM – A less formal service – The Lady Chapel – North Transept

Passion (Palm) Sunday 


Monday in Holy Week

  • 12:05 PM – The Holy Eucharist, Trinity Chapel
  • In person only

Tuesday in Holy Week

  • 12:05 PM – The Holy Eucharist, Trinity Chapel
  • In person only

Wednesday in Holy Week

  • 12:05 PM – The Holy Eucharist with Prayers for Healing, Trinity Chapel
  • In person only

  • 7 PM – Tenebrae Service

Tenebrae (Latin for “darkness”) is a service celebrated throughout Western Christianity held during holy week characterized by gradual extinguishing of candles, and by the strepitus or “loud noise” taking place in darkness near the end of the service as the last candle is extinguished. Sometimes called the “service of shadows,” the service recalls the anxiety that characterized the hours leading to the betrayal and execution of Jesus. Psalms, poetry, periods of silence, and brief readings from holy scripture guide reflections by those who participate.

Maundy Thursday 

Maundy Thursday begins the Great Three Days (The Triduum) as we remember the Last Supper, the agony in the garden of Gethsemane and Jesus’ journey to the cross and crucifixion. The service culminates with the night vigil in the garden. What begins today does not truly end until the celebration of the Great Vigil on Easter Eve.

This year we gather for our first Agapé Meal on Maundy Thursday. This meatless meal of Christian fellowship will be shared in the Parish Hall Auditorium as form of spiritual preparation to celebrate the liturgy remembering the Lord’s Supper on the Maundy Thursday. The setting should be somewhat austere and the foods sparse and simple including soup, cheese, olives, dried fruit, bread, and a small bit of wine to recall that first “Last Supper.”

Good Friday

On this most solemn of days, we join with our Episcopalian neighbors at Hope Church, Manheim for a service of scripture, music, and ancient prayers to reflect upon the suffering, crucifixion, and death of Jesus Christ remembering “The Seven Last Words of Jesus from the Cross.” The service begins at 12 Noon and ends about 2 PM. Participants are invited to come and go as their schedule permits during this time. Then at 2:15 PM we will journey with Jesus in a the traditional steps of the “Station of the Cross” geared toward children and family participation, ending about 3 PM. Hope Episcopal Church is located on Mountain Road, Manheim, PA, just south of the entrance to the Renaissance Faire off Rt. 72.

Later that evening, we return to St. Luke’s for the formal remembrance of the Passion and Death of Jesus with the liturgy from the Book of Common.

Please join us for any or all of these services.

Joint Services at Hope Church, Manheim, PA

  • 12 Noon — Meditation Service: The Seven Last Words
  • 2:15 PM – Family Stations of the Cross

Joint Service at St. Luke’s Church, Lebanon, PA

Holy Saturday

A day dedicated to quiet reflection and anticipation of the joys of Easter.

  • Trinity Chapel in the Parish Hall remains open for prayer and meditation.

The Great Vigil and the First Eucharist of Easter

High drama marks The Great Vigil of Easter as we begin in silence and darkness only to watch mere sparks grow to great lights and quiet chants crescendo to triumphant songs that symbolize the triumph of Christ over death and the grave. This liturgy begins the long celebration of Easter that ends only on the Feast of Pentecost fifty days later! Join us for this sensory feast that will help us put off the doldrums of winter and welcome the new life that is Christ dwelling in us!



The Feast of the Lord’s Resurrection – Easter Sunday

Join us as we proclaim the raising of Jesus Christ from the dead through word and song in a festive service marking the beginning of the Easter season. 

All children are invited to an Easter egg hunt following the 10:30 service. 


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