[Episcopal News Service] With The Episcopal Church preparing for an Easter Triduum without in-person gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Episcopalians have plenty of options for virtual services. From large cathedrals to riverside vigils, here are some examples of Triduum services in the time of physical distancing from The Episcopal Church and beyond. You can also find an extensive calendar of livestream services from across the church here.
The Solemn Liturgy of Good Friday at Washington National Cathedral, the seat of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, will be livestreamed at noon Eastern time. The Easter Sunday Eucharist will be livestreamed at 11:15 a.m., with Curry preaching the sermon and a performance of “The Strife is O’er” from a churchwide virtual choir. Also on Easter Sunday, the cathedral’s organists will perform a recital at 2 p.m.
Trinity Wall Street, one of the oldest Anglican parishes in the United States, will hold livestream services for Good Friday (12:05-1:30 p.m.) the Great Vigil of Easter (7:30-9:30 p.m. on Saturday) and Easter Sunday (11:15 a.m.).
The Church of England will hold a “national digital service” for Easter Sunday with a sermon from the Most Rev. Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury, recorded from his home in London. Other elements of the service were recorded elsewhere, including a large virtual choir singing “Thine be the Glory.” The service will be available at 9 a.m. GMT.
Stations of the cross in the city (Diocese of Western Massachusetts)
The stations of the cross — a ritual of prayers commemorating the ways Jesus suffered on the day of his crucifixion — is commonly observed throughout Lent, and especially on Good Friday, in churches that have visual depictions of the stations on their walls. In the Diocese of Western Massachusetts, Episcopal priests and other local leaders from in and around Worcester, the second-largest city in New England, have created a video series in which each station corresponds to a site in the city. The sites show “a different side of Worcester,” including places like the Social Security office, a low-income apartment building and homeless ministries.
Holding an Easter Vigil service with drumming, fire, processions and baptisms on the banks of the York River in Yorktown, Virginia, has been a tradition for eight years for a group of local churches. This year, an adapted form of the service will go on via livestream, though without the crowd of several hundred people that normally gathers. The tradition is the collaborative effort of seven Episcopal parishes and two Lutheran congregations.
Unable to gather together for Triduum services, the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas, will perform a minimalist liturgy devised by the Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, the seminary’s dean and president. Over the course of Good Friday and Holy Saturday, members of the seminary community will individually find a stone, wash it and place it in a particular spot on the campus, creating a pile or “tomb.” Then, beginning at dawn on Easter Sunday, they will return one by one and take a stone away.
“This liturgy will come into being by doing it,” Kittredge wrote to the community. “Its meaning and resonance will be revealed in the performing. It is unlikely to be repeated.”
Make a joyful noise for Easter Sunday! (Diocese of Western North Carolina)
The Diocese of Western North Carolina invites everyone to film themselves “making a joyful noise” — by playing an instrument, singing, ringing bells, clapping, banging a pan or whatever other joyful noise comes to mind — at 10 a.m. in your time zone on Easter Sunday. You can share your video on social media using the hashtag #joyfulnoisediownc.