All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Montecito will offer a series of special services to commemorate and celebrate Holy Week and Easter. One of the week’s highlights is on Good Friday, April 18 at noon, with the Akathist, a poetic choral ser- vice of praise composed in the early 20th century, which is performed by the Adelfos Ensemble, under the direction of All Saints’ Assistant Director of Music Temmo Korisheli.
Holy Saturday on Easter Eve, April 19 will see two special services, including a 4 p.m. Children’s Easter Vigil and an 8 p.m. Easter Vigil. Both services involve light- ing the paschal fire outside and then moving into the darkened church to hear the great stories of salvation history. The Rev. Dr. Robert Honeychurch noted, “Our stories conclude with the account of a group of women discovering an empty tomb early on
a Sunday morning. That awareness of Jesus’ resurrection moves us into the joyful celebration of our Easter liturgy.”
All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church opens its doors year-round to welcome people of all ages and denominations to worship and find fellowship each week. Also offered are a myriad of ongoing community and social activities at the church, includ- ing Sunday school, lectures and adult education. The following is a list of services offered for Holy Week and Easter:
• Maundy Thursday, April 17. Service at 7:00 p.m.: Service will commemorate the Lord’s Last Supper. This is a community-oriented service open to all who wish to participate. The Church and Altar are stripped of all ornamentation in preparation for Good Friday.
• Good Friday, April 18. Services at Noon and 7 p.m.: The Akathist of Thanks- giving (“Glory to God for All Things”) takes place at Noon while our 7 p.m. service of worship is taken from an early Christian service called Tenebrae, the Latin word for “darkness” or “shadows.” In this service we establish our connection with the betrayal, abandonment, and agony of the events of Good Friday. At the end of the service, a loud noise is made symbolizing the earthquake at the time of Jesus’ death (Matthew 27:51) and the sound of the stone being rolled to seal the tomb. A series of thirty-three chimes are then rung out, symbolizing the age when Jesus died.
• Holy Saturday Children’s Easter Vigil at 4 p.m. and Easter Vigil at 8 p.m., April 20. Come witness and partake in the most ancient service in Christianity, in- spired by the writings of Bishop Hippolytus in 210 A.D. This service begins in darkness which is broken by the lighting of the Paschal fire outside the church, then candles and ends with the brightness and joy of Easter in the sanctuary. Ancient Christians were accustomed to staying up all night following this service to be awake for the dawn of Easter Day.
• Easter Day, Sunday, April 20. Services at 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.: Visitors are invited to join us for services at 8:00 a.m. for a Chorale Eucharist or at 10 a.m. for a Chorale Eucharist and Baptism.
• Easter Egg Hunt, April 20 at 11:30 a.m. An Easter Egg Hunt for children will follow the 10 a.m. service.