Weekend of Sunday, March 24, 2024

Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday

Holy Week, Batman!

Dear friends,

In 2002, over 20 years ago, I had my first real experience of Holy Week. At my home parish of All Saints' Episcopal Church in River Ridge, they offered an "Altar of Repose." That's what some parishes (like St. Paul's) call a Gethsemane Watch.

A Gethsemane Watch is an all-night vigil where you can pray with the reserved sacrament. It's akin to the story of Jesus asking the disciples to pray with him for just one hour the night before his death. It offers the chance to spend some time in prayer and reflection with Jesus.

I had never done anything like it. That hour of prayer before the altar had a profound effect on me. I've done it every year since, and it remains one of the most special moments of Holy Week for me.

That's the thing about the Holy Week offerings: they are experiential. I love the experience of receiving communion at the typical Eucharist, but Holy Week offers an even deeper experiential opportunity.

Some people love the Gethsemane Watch. Some are moved by the foot washing at the Maundy Thursday service. Some find the veneration of the Cross on Good Friday will move them to tears. Some people I know who have taken the time to participate in the Great Vigil of Easter describe it as the most beautiful service of the year, and even "life-changing."

I have my favorite Holy Week moments, but can relate to all of these sentiments. The entire week is a deeply experiential remembering of the core of the Christian faith expressed in the events surrounding Jesus' death and resurrection.

If it feels like I'm doing the hard-court press in selling you on Holy Week, well . . . guilty as charged. Take a look at the schedule. See what works in your schedule this coming week and give yourself an experiential gift.

Looking forward to seeing you for the start of it all this Palm Sunday at 7:45 AM or 10:15 AM for worship. Until then, keep the faith, St. Paul's!

God's blessings,

P.S. - There are many opportunities to grow in service over the next week. See all the many sign-ups below and join in the growth with us!

  • 3/22, Parish/School Fish Fry ServersEach Lent we share in a fish fry fundraiser with members of the school community. We need volunteers to help fry fish, assemble plates, and more. Sign up to help here.

  • 3/24, Palm Sunday Passion Gospel Readers - Holy Week begins each year on Palm Sunday. At that service the congregation shares in a dramatic reading of the Passion Gospel. Sign up for a part here.

  • 3/28 - 3/30, "The Triduum" Servers - Holy Week culminates in the Triduum, the "sacred three days," that includes Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. We need volunteer lectors, Eucharistic ministers, acolytes, an for those beautiful liturgies. Sign up here to participate.

  • 3/28, Gethsemane Watch "Holy Hour" - Following the Maundy Thursday liturgy on Thursday night of Holy Week, we host an all-night vigil in the chapel to pray with the reserved sacrament and spend an hour with Jesus like the disciples did the night before his death. We will have a security guard present throughout the night. Sign up for an hour of prayer here.

  • 3/30, Crescent City Classic Charity Run for Covenant House - Part of our Holy Week tradition at St. Paul's is to assemble a team to run the Crescent City Classic to raise money for Covenant House. You can even do so without paying a registration fee! Here are the instructions:
  • Begin your registration here. Follow the instructions to register as a charity runner.
  • About 4 pages in you can choose to run for Covenant House.
  • You'll also find the section where you can join the St. Paul's Team.
  • At checkout, use the coupon code COVENANT24 to have your registration fee waived.
  • Share with friends and on social media that you are running with our team for Covenant House and let's help some at-risk youth experiencing homelessness!
  • You can donate here!

Learn more . . .

Visit our Website

St. Paul's Episcopal Church


In person worship

Sundays at 7:45 & 10:15 AM

Wednesdays at 5:30 PM

Virtual Services:

Sundays at 10:15 AM

Click Here to Watch the Service

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