St. Christopher’s Church is a welcoming community with a rich diversity of thought within a spirit of close-knit family in Gladwyne PA. With about 500 members, our parish is large enough to inspire a sense of community and small enough to feel immediately at home. Our worship is thoughtful, our music is inspirational, our learning is on-going, and our appreciation for one another is constant.
Holy Wednesday: Entering the Mystery of Holy Week
Good Friday: The Sorrow and Pain of Christ's Passion
Good Friday marks the day of Jesus’ crucifixion and death. In scripture, he had been arrested, the previous night, handed over to the authorities, and condemned to die, along with two thieves. This day, which is filled with images of Jesus’ very real pain and agony, may seem to be anything but good, but the term comes from an earlier English sense of “good,” meaning “holy”. On this day, we see Jesus doing something hard to show his love for everybody. Many churches will reenact the Stations of the Cross, a meditative walk through the last hours of Jesus’ life. In the now-bare sanctuary of St. Christopher’s, parishioners will take communion that was consecrated yesterday, as this is a day when the Resurrection is not celebrated.
Holy Saturday: The Great Vigil of Easter
Easter Sunday: The Foundation of the Faith
Alleluia! Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia! Easter morning is the principal liturgical celebration of the year—it is the day we celebrate the Resurrection of the Son of God from the dead. Today we hear of Mary Magdalene (and others, in Mark’s telling) coming to anoint Jesus’ body, only to find the great stone rolled away, and the tomb empty. As it dawns on these faithful women and the apostles, it dawns on us, too: the One who only days earlier was humiliated, broken, beaten and killed, lives. We celebrate in the sure and certain hope that he has destroyed the power of death and the grave, and “opened for us the way of eternal life” (Catechism, Book of Common Prayer, p. 850). St. Christopher’s will be adorned with flowers as a symbol of rebirth and joy in God’s creation. Brass music reminds us of the exuberant and inexhaustible joy in this day. And all the faithful will gather to celebrate the triumph of love over death.
Maundy Thursday - March 29
Maundy Thursday marks the first day of the Triduum, the three days before the celebration of the Resurrection on Easter. The name of this day comes from John 13:34, when Jesus institutes his new commandment: “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (NRSV); in Latin, new commandment is rendered as mandatum novum—hence, Maundy.
This is the day that Jesus and his disciples celebrate the Jewish Passover meal, also known as the Last Supper. While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread and a cup of wine and told the disciples these were his body and blood. He invited them to eat and drink these things to remember him. In John’s Gospel, Jesus washes the disciples’ feet, telling them to be servants of others, just as he was their servant. This profoundly beautiful act will be part of the Maundy Thursday service as clergy don towels on their arms and wash the feet of all who choose to take part. At the end of the service, all decoration is removed from the altar, symbolizing the grief, vulnerability, and austerity we know to be coming as Jesus goes to dark Gethsemane. At St. Christopher’s we will wash the altar, a custom of the Church dating back centuries.