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Holy Week Guidelines

 Maundy Thursday responsibilities are much like Sunday mornings except that the candles need to be extinguished before the altar area is stripped.  The acolytes also help withclearing the chancel area if there aren’t enough Altar Guild members present.

On Good Friday, the crossbearer has no responsibilities until the end of the service; there are no acolytes.  When the Lord’s Prayer ends, he should be in the fellowship area standing at the doorway to the sanctuary.  After “Behold the life-giving cross, on which was hung the Savior of | the whole world.  Oh, come, let us | worship him.” is sung or spoken the first time, he should walk halfway down the aisle and stop.  After it’s sung/spoken a second time, he walks to the altar and rests the cross against the altar. (The cross for Good Friday is wooden and will not fit in a stand so it should rest at an angle.)  The congregation sings a third time.

The candlebearer for Easter Vigil should be at the church about a half hour before the service begins.  We begin outside at sundown. Candlebearer will hold the paschal candle. Pastor will trace the inscription on the candle as the candlebearer holds it. The candle will be lit outside.  After the words “the light of Christ…” are repeated, Candlebearer processes to door at the entrance to sanctuary (congregation follows) where the handheld candles will be lit (distributed from small basket).  After all the candles are lit, the cantor will chant “the light of Christ”, the candle is then processed to the middle of the aisle where the candlebearer will stop until the cantor chants again.  He then processes the candle to its stand centered in front of altar and the cantor and the congregation chant again.  The rest of the candles are lit after the Old Testament readings are completed—candelabras first starting at the bottom and working up, then the torches, then the candles on the altar (can stand on platform to reach altar candles).  Acolytes should work in unison.  As candles are lit, the stain glass window should be turned on.  When candles are extinguished, everything is in reverse—altar candles, then torches, then candelabras from top to bottom. If there is a baptism, the candleholder will be at the font so the candle will be processed back to the font and placed in the stand.

If there are enough people signed up for the vigil, so there is a constant presence in the sanctuary overnight, the paschal candle should not be extinguished.