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Join us for an Easter Egg Hunt after our 10 a.m. Easter Service

Palm Sunday: April 9

Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday. The liturgy begins in expectation and celebration as we re-enact Jesus entrance into Jerusalem by reading the Gospel of his triumphant entry and as we bless and bear palms. Next we move into the lessons appointed for the Eucharist. Nearing the close of our worship we participate in the reading of the Passion narrative, as we move from Palm Sunday into the passion of Holy week.

Holy Eucharist 8, and 10 a.m. 

Lent Concert, "Once Upon a Tree" 4 p.m. - Experience Holy Week through the eyes of St. Luke the physician. Composer Pepper Choplin recreates the power, majesty, love, sorrow and hope of Jesus Christ’s last week on earth, from the triumphal entry into Jerusalem to the Last Supper and the final hours on the cross.

Monday in Holy Week: April 10

Morning Prayer,
8 a.m.                             

Pray and Play for Holy Week
, 10:15 a.m.

Tuesday in Holy Week: April 11

Morning Prayer,
8 a.m.                                                         

Evening Prayer,
6 p.m.

Wednesday in Holy Week: April 12

Holy Eucharist
, 7 a.m.                                                

Contemplative Prayer,
8 a.m.

, 7:30 p.m. - This special service of psalms and readings features the gradual extinguishing of candles and other lights in the church until only a single candle, a symbol of our Lord, remains.  This candle is hidden, representing the apparent victory of the forces of evil.  At the very end a loud noise is made symbolizing the earthquake at the time of the resurrection.  The hidden candle is restored and by its light all depart in silence. 

Maundy Thursday: April 13

The word Maundy is derived from the Latin word “Mandere” which means “to command.”  Two commandments are given: first, “love one another as I have loved you.” Jesus washed the disciples feet as the symbol of his love, and thus in the liturgy we repeat this action.  The second commandment is “Do this in remembrance of me.”  The Lord’s Supper was instituted during the annual Passover Seder.   We will share a Seder meal together before the liturgy.  Tonight after we have shared the Lord’s Supper, the last one Jesus ate with his disciples before crucifixion, we will remove the remaining consecrated bread and wine to a “Chapel of Repose” (lower hall) where they will remain.  Then we will strip the altar area to create the sense of loss felt by Jesus’ followers as he was taken away.  Those wishing to “watch with me” are invited to go to the lower hall, any time between 9 and 11 pm.

Morning Prayer
at 8 a.m.                                                    

Pray & Play
10:15 am

Seder Meal
at 6 p.m., followed at 7:30 p.m. by foot washing, Holy Eucharist and the stripping of the altar & sanctuary.      

Vigil : 9 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Good Friday: April 14

Good Friday is the name given this day in the English tradition, the day the passion and death of our Lord is commemorated.  The cross is reverenced during the evening liturgy of prayers and music, and we offer the reserved sacrament.

Long Valley Community Cross Walk
at 12 noon, beginning at Bartley Rd. Presbyterian Church

Participatory Children’s “Stations of the Cross,” 2:30 p.m. (at Messiah)

Good Friday Liturgy, 7:30 p.m.

Holy Saturday: April 15             

Recreating our worship space, 9 a.m.

The Great Vigil of Easter, 6 p.m.

The Great Vigil is the first service of Easter Day.  The service consists of four parts: a service of light (we begin in darkness with the entry of the Pascal candle,) a service of 3 lessons which tell our salvation history (we will ask people to enact them as they are being read) We renew are baptismal vows  and the Holy Eucharist – the first Communion of Easter.  We celebrate and proclaim “Christ is risen!” 
A Celebratory party in the parish hall to follow.

Easter Day: April 16

Holy Eucharist at 8, 9 and 10 a.m. (choir and bell choir at the 10 a.m. service) Special program for young children at 9 a.m. and special Sunday School program at the 10 a.m. service

Easter Egg Hunt
after both the 9 and 10 a.m. services

Join us for Festal coffee hours after all services. Easter Day brings the joy of the risen Christ. Come join us and share as we celebrate Christ’s resurrection.

Be sure to click on the links for our Calendar and wonderful newsletter, The Messiah Messenger, to get all the news and events for the month.

Calendar & Messiah Messenger

April 2017 Calendar

April 2017 Messenger

2017 Pancake Supper and Ashes to Go

A generous donor has recently blessed us with the gift of a Yamaha Clavinova baby grand piano. This is an electronic instrument that replicates the rich sound of a baby grand piano while also offering the ability to add character to a piece with preset instruments as well as imported accompaniments. This instrument is a wonderful addition to our music ministry.


Click on the links below and check out the “Flippin Fun” coverage of our Annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Party in the Daily Record...


And coverage of our "Maypole Fun and Environmental Stewardship" in the Observer-Tribune...


A big thank you to both of these local newspapers for covering our events at Messiah!

Calling All Hoopsters! We have a new basketball hoop in the back parking lot! A ball is available in the closet downstairs at the end of the hall near the bathrooms. Take a break and work off some of those coffee hour calories!

New time for Pray and Play - The moms and toddlers who come to Pray and Play service have agreed that Monday at 10:15 a.m. is a good time to meet. This service is especially tailored for children ages 6 and under and their families. We meet in the church. We will also offer Pray and Play on the first Sunday of every month at 9 a.m. (meeting in the lower parish hall).

Godly Play is Here! Beginning in September, our children began enjoying the wonderful Sunday School program called “Godly Play." This is a very creative curriculum in which the children are invited to participate in the telling of a Bible story, followed by freedom to choose the activity they want to do. Godly Play is especially designed to appeal to a wide range of ages.


It just got easier to give to Messiah! Just lick the "Donate" button. The first time you do, you'll be asked to provide the bank account which you want your gift to come from. Your gifts may be one-time or recurring. And you may specify any particular cause within Messiah that you wish to support.

Members of the Men of Messiah (MOM) at work polishing the brass.

Men of Messiah (MOM) – The next meeting of MOM is March 18 at 9 a.m., in the Messiah kitchen. Light breakfast of bagels, fruit, coffee, and juice will be provided.

Women of Messiah Encouraging & Nurturing (W.O.M.E.N.)
- Our next meeting will be February 23, at 7 p.m. in the back of the Parish Hall.
Inquirer's Class  - Interested in learning more about the Episcopal Church? Please join us for a 5-session class that will enable those who are interested to discuss and learn more about the Church, Christianity, and the Bible. This is a great opportunity for discovery and to ask questions about who we are. Classes held several times a year at convenient times for those interested are interested.

Education For Ministry - This is not a program for those seeking ordination as they go to seminary. But this is a wonderful college level program for any one interested in learning more by reading and discussion. The program continues for four years, each year a separate unit. Currently there is a class on their third year of study on Mondays evenings. A new class is being formed on Tuesdays from 3:45 - 5:45 starting in September. if you are interested please speak with Margaret who is the facilitator for the program.

Bible Study at Messiah - We will be discussing The Old Testament on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. and The New Testament on Thursdays at 11 a.m.

Lunch Book Group - Tuesdays at Messiah on the lower level, Noon to 1 p.m.
Each week's reading and destination is listed in the Sunday announcements. We will be bringing our own lunches so pack or tote your meal; coffee and/or water will be served while we discuss.

Contemplative/Centering Prayer - It meets every Tuesday at 8 a.m. in the church. You are welcome to join our group for 30 minutes of quiet prayer. Other times are possible too, contact the rector if you are interested

Tuesday Book and Movie Night -  A Book discussion and bag supper usually held the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. followed by a movie (TBD) at around 7:30 p.m. Click on our current Monthly Messenger for book descriptions and details.

Armchair Theologians - A summer program that meets on Monday evenings at 7 p.m. ending with Compline at 8:30 p.m.

Coffee Hour is available after each Sunday Service in our Parish Hall. It's a wonderful time to enjoy friends and fellowship with members of the Congregation. Want to help out? Sign up to host coffee hour! An updated calendar will be posted soon! Sign up for an empty date by sending an email to info@messiahchester.org with "Coffee Hour" in the subject heading.