Where to Observe Holy Week in Maplewood and South Orange

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The holiest week on the Christian calendar begins this Sunday, March 29, with Palm Sunday and culminates on April 5 with Easter. Meanwhile, Passover begins the evening of Friday, April 3 and ends Saturday evening, April 11.

Here’s a list of local houses of worship and their calendar of services for Holy Week. Did we miss anyone? Email us at villagegreennj@gmail.com. Watch for our Passover guide — posting soon.


Prospect Presbyterian Church, 646 Prospect Street, Maplewoodall are welcome for worship and communion.

  • PALM SUNDAY (March 29): 9:15 a.m.: Celebrate “Sensational Sunday,” a Sunday School gathering of children and adults
  • PALM SUNDAY (March 29): 10:30 a.m. – Join us for a dramatic service including readings and music celebrating Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem and the passion story
  • MAUNDY THURSDAY (April 2): 7:30 p.m. – Tenabrae (Latin for “shadows” or “darkness”) Communion Service, a worship service marking Jesus’s death and resurrection
  • Easter Sunday, April 5, 8:00 a.m. – Easter Sunrise service which begins in a darkened sanctuary that becomes flooded with light to joyful shouts of Hallelujah, followed by a light complimentary breakfast.
  • Easter Sunday, April 5, 9:15 a.m.Sunday School for adults and children ages two and above
  • Easter Sunday, April 5, 10:30 a.m. – Easter Service, including our annual traditional finale where everyone is invited to stand with the choir and sing a rousing rendition of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus”

*Childcare is available in the church nursery for children under age 5 (Sunday services only)

St. Joseph’s Church, Prospect Street, Maplewood

  • Tuesday, March 31, Lenten Solace: A Musical Meditation, 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 1, Soup Supper, 5-7 p.m., Bernard Hall
  • Wednesday, April 1, The Seven Last Words of Jesus: A Meditation on Love and Suffering, 7 p.m. in the church
  • Holy Thursday, April 2, Mass of the Lord’s Supper, 7 p.m. (bring small bells to participate in the ringing of the bells)
  • Good Friday, April 3, Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion, 3 p.m.
  • Holy Saturday, April 4, Easter Vigil, 7:30 p.m.
  • Easter Sunday, April 5, Easter Masses, 9:00 & 11:30 a.m.

Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church, 217 Prospect Street, South Orange

  • Holy Mass
    Saturday: 5:30 p.m.
    Sunday: 8:00, 9:30, 11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.

Morrow Memorial United Methodist Church, 600 Ridgewood Road, Maplewood

  • Holy Thursday, April 2, 6pm, Family Seder Meal (Fellowship Hall); 7:30 p.m, Prayer Service in the Garden
  • Good Friday, April 3, 12pm, Ecumenical Worship Service at First Presbyterian and Trinity Church (located at 111 Irvington Ave. in South Orange); 8pm, Worship in the Sanctuary
  • Easter Sunday, April 5, 8:15am, Worship in the Chapel; 9:30am, Easter Breakfast (Fellowship Hall); 10:30am, Worship in the Sanctuary

St. George’s Episcopal Church, 550 Ridgewood Road, Maplewood

  • Palm Sunday Family Eucharist, Sunday, March 29, 2015 – 9:15am. A special four-legged guest will take part in the Palm Sunday Family Eucharist, portraying the donkey that carried Jesus into Jerusalem as the children reenact the first Palm Sunday procession. All children are welcome, regardless of church membership.
  • Palm Sunday Choral Eucharist, Sunday, March 29, 2015 – 10:15am. Celebrate the triumph of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and end in quiet solemnity as we enter Holy Week. The Liturgy of the Palms takes place at 10:15 AM in the Cloister Garden, weather permitting, after which we process into the church for the 10:30 AM Choral Eucharist, a full service with choir. This service is followed by coffee hour.
  • Open rehearsal for Easter’s “Hallelujah ChorusSt. George’s has a wonderful Easter tradition of inviting the congregation to come forward at the conclusion of the 10:30 AM service and join the choir in singing Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus. This year – our eighth – we’re adding something new by inviting the congregation to a special open rehearsal of the Hallelujah Chorus on Palm Sunday, March 29, following the 10:30 AM service.
  • Maundy Thursday Service, Thursday, April 2, 2015 – 8:00pm. the Maundy Thursday Service will look different than in years past. We’ll begin in the Parish Hall for the traditional foot washing ceremony followed by a light Middle Eastern dinner. This “liturgy in motion” will take us from the Parish Hall, to the Cloister Walk, Children’s Chapel and finally to the Sanctuary for the Stripping of the Altar.
  • Good Friday Choral Liturgy. Good Friday, the most solemn day of the Christian year, is observed onApril 3 with a 12 noon Choral Liturgy of Good Friday, which includes Veneration of the Cross, and Communion from reserve Sacrament.
  • Good Friday Children’s ServiceOn Good Friday, April 3, a special Children’s Service held at 4 PM helps children understand the crucifixion through the Stations of the Cross.
  • Good Friday Tenebrae Service. A Tenebrae Service will be held at 8 PM on Good Friday, April 3. “Tenebrae” is a Latin term meaning “shadows.”
  • The Great Vigil of EasterThe Great Vigil of Easter, beginning with the blessing of the Paschal Fire in front of the church doors at 8 PM on Saturday, April 4, is the most ancient form of Easter worship proclaiming Jesus’ resurrection.

The Episcopal Church of St. Andrew & Holy Communion

  • Palm Sunday, March 29:
    8:00 a.m. Mass
    9:15 a.m. Small Fry Procession of Palms led by a donkey & Mass
    10:30 a.m. Procession of the Palms led by a donkey, Holy Communion & The Mark Passion Gospel
    Holy Wednesday, April 1:
    7:30 p.m. Tenebrae – A service of Light and Darkness
    Holy (Maundy) Thursday, April 2:
    7:30 p.m. Last Supper, Holy Communion and Hand & Foot Washing
    Good Friday, April 3:
    12:00 p.m. Stations of the Cross and Good Friday Liturgy
    3:30 p.m. Children’s Stations of the Cross
    7:30 p.m. Contemporary Stations of the Cross and Good Friday Liturgy
    Easter Eve, April 4:
    7:30 p.m. The Great Vigil and Candlelight Baptism
    Easter Day, April 5:
    8:00 a.m. Festal Mass
    9:30 a.m. Small Fry Children’s Mass
    10:30 a.m. Festal Mass

First Presbyterian and Trinity Church, South Orange

  • Palm Sunday Worship – March 29 at 10:30 a.m. Celebrate the arrival and determined faith of our redeemer Jesus Christ with the procession of palms and the musical leadership of the choir.  Our One Great Hour of Sharing offering will be dedicated at this service.
  • Maundy Thursday – April 2 at 7:00 p.m. Remember the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples during a special dinner using the elements of the meal itself.  Following dinner rediscover the darkness of Easter in the service of Tenebrae (“darkness”).  The lights go out while the story of the Mount of Olives, the betrayal of Christ, the trial, Peter’s denial, and Jesus being led away to be crucified.
  • Good Friday-Midday Prayer – April 3 at 12:00 noon. Participate in a contemplative service of readings and prayers along with members of the congregations of Morrow United Methodist Church of Maplewood, Prospect Presbyterian Church of Maplewood, St. George’s Episcopal Church of Maplewood,  The service will be held in the sanctuary and led by the pastoral staff of these congregations, with music by Dave Thomas.
  • Easter Sunday, April 5th– Easter Resurrection Celebration at 10:30 a.m. Share the story, the joy and the beauty of God’s gift of new life in Christ!  Watch, hear and experience the transformation from barrenness and death to the miracle of Jesus Christ’s resurrection—the color, music— (led by the Choir) and the story of God’s triumphant love.  The Sacrament of The Lord’s Supper will be celebrated.  There will be childcare for children in grade 1 and younger.

South Orange-Vailsburg United Methodist Church, 150 South Orange Avenue, South Orange

  • Find information on services here.

First Baptist Church of South Orange, 103 Valley Street, South Orange

  • Find information on services here.

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