Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, the day when Christians recall Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem by waving palms and singing ‘Hallelujah.’
Palm Sunday starts off Holy Week, the holiest and most important days of the year for Christians. In addition to procession with the palms, churches host dramatic representations of Jesus’ last days on earth.
The highlight of Holy Week is the triduum, Holy Thursday, good Friday and Holy Saturday, ending with Easter.
On Thursday, Christians remember the last Super when Jesus instituted the Eucharist and the sacrament of Holy orders. Churches also host the symbolic washing of the feet as Jesus did to his disciples as a call to service and love for each other. Another tradition on Holy Thursday is Tenebrae services, where a candle is extinguished after each Scripture reading, until the church is left in darkness, symbolizing Jesus’ death.
good Friday recalls Jesus’ Crucifixion. several local towns including Andover and Salem, N.H., have ecumenical processions remembering Jesus’ walk to Calvary.
Christ’s Resurrection is celebrated on Easter, but some denominations including Catholics and Episcopalians host a vigil on Saturday. The liturgy begins in darkness, followed by the lighting of the Pascal candle and procession into the church. new members are received through baptism and member renew their baptism vows.
Partial listing of Holy Week services:
All Saints, 120 Bellevue Ave., Haverhill: Prayer service for families, 7 p.m. with Scripture readings, prayers and a dramatic presentation of Jesus’ passion by students in first through seventh grade.
Groveland Congregational, 7 King St., Groveland: Ecumenical candlelit Taize meditation service, 7:30 p.m. with Scripture readings, singing refrains, prayers, petitions and silence.
St. Anne, 26 Emerson Ave., Hampstead: “Because we Believe” a cantata about the life and death of Jesus includes an 80-voice choir and a 20-piece orchestra.
St. Joseph, 33 Main St., Salem: Passion Play focusing on Christ’ last days on Earth, 7:30 p.m. The multimedia presentation uses mime, music, action, lighting and emotions.
St. mark the Evangelist, 1 South Road, Londonderry: Tenebrae service reflecting on the last seven words of Jesus and prophetic words about him through readings and songs, 7 p.m.
St. Theresa, of our Lady of good Counsel Parish, 22 Plymouth St., Methuen: “Perfect Love” a cantata featuring the passion of Christ through the eyes of Mary, 7 p.m.
Monday of Holy Week
St. David Episcopal, 321 Main St., Salem: The movie “Of Gods and Men” is shown at 7 p.m. The film is based on a true story based on eight Trappist monks who lived and worked among a Muslim village in north Africa in the 1990s and the Islamic fundamentalist group sweeps through the area instilling fear and massacres.
Wednesday of Holy Week
St. David Episcopal, 321 Main St., Salem: candlelit labyrinth, 7 to 8:30 p.m. The spiritual tool helps participants walk on a path while meditating inward to their spiritual self, then outward.
East Hampstead Union, 225 E. Main St. E. Hampstead: The Rev. Paul A. Sweet leads a candlelight service at 7 p.m. It features readings from the Gospel commemorating the events of the last week of Jesus’ life. Donations accepted to benefit the church’s missions.
Our Lady of good Counsel School, Lawrence: Mini retreat for kindergarten to sixth grade, 8:30 a.m. to noon. Children reflect on the meaning of good Friday with prayers, stories, music and crafts. they will also participate in the stations of the cross.
St. Augustine, Essex St., Andover: Interdenominational prayer walk begins at 8:15 a.m. Viewing and discussion of the movie, “The Passion” at noon. Soup lunch follows.
St. David Episcopal, 321 Main St., Salem: during the 7 p.m. liturgy participants will symbolically let go of what ties them down.
St. Joseph, 33 Main St., Salem: Community Stations of the Cross begins at 9 a.m.
All Saints, 120 Bellevue Ave., Haverhill: Baskets containing a sampling of Easter foods will be bless at 1 p.m. as the parish celebrates “Swieconka” a Polish tradition.
Andover Country Club, 60 Canterbury St., Andover: The Rev. Andre Patenaude performs “Voice of Serenity,” April 22 2 to 5 p.m. known as Father Pat, the priest at LaSallette Shrine in Attleboro is a musician, composer, singer and recording artist. Tickets are $20. For information, call Muriel at 978-685-5047 or Fran, 978-851-2186.
Groveland Congregational, 4 King St., Groveland: Adult study group discusses “Heaven is for Real” April 2 and 9 at 7 p.m. Participants will view a DVD where a family speaks about their experience in heaven and how it changed their lives. what the Bible teaches about heaven, will also be explore.
Island Pond Baptist, 26 North Salem Road, Hampstead, N.H.: The church launches its Bible Club for children in first to fifth grade, April 4, 7 to 8 p.m. for snacks, games, activities and lesson time.
Merrimack College, 315 Turnpike St., North Andover: Rabbi Robert Goldstein leads the Model Passover Seder April 3, 2 to 3:30 p.m. in Cascia Hall. Bridget Shaheen, executive director of Lazarus House speaks on “Passion for Justice” April 11 at 7 p.m. in Cascia Hall. Shaheen will give a perspective on the struggles of the people of Lawrence during the texitle strike of 1912 and the situation today, to commemorate the strike’s centennial.
North Parish, North Andover: The book and movie group discusses the film, “Company Man” April 12, 7:30 p.m.
Osgood Landing, 1600 Osgood St., South entrance, North Andover: Jewish film festival April 29, 3:45 to 7 p.m. Movies are “Circumcise Me” about an Israeli orthodox Jewish comedian whose mother was an ex-nun and his father taught at a catholic school and “Follow me: the Yoni Netanyahu Story,” a biography of Yoni, who led the 1976 hostage rescue mission at the Entebbe Airport, where he was killed. Yoni is brother of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister, and the film explores his life through his own poetry and letters, rare footage of the raid as covered by Walter Cronkite and interviews with Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak. Sponsored by Merrimack Valley Jewish Foundation, the film will be screen in North Andover before its opening in new York, Toronto and Los Angeles. Tickets are $18. For information, contact Michelle Soll at 978-688-0466.
Presentation of Mary Academy, 209 Lawrence St., Methuen: The new England Tenors featuring Damien Corcoran, John Middleton-Cox and Jeffrey Hartman perform April 21, 7:30 p.m. Concert includes selections of contemporary, Italian, classic and operatic music accompanied by piano and violin. Sponsored by the Blessed Virgin Mary Sodality and Holy Name Society of Corpus Christi parish. Cost is $25 and can be reserved by calling the parish office at 978-685-1711.
St. Joseph Cathedral, Lowell and Pine streets, Manchester: Bishop Anthony Libasci celebrate Mass for the healing of those affected by child abuse, April 24, 6:30 p.m.
St. Jude, 435 Mammoth Road, Londonderry: The Rev. Ralph DiOrio leads a healing service June 3 at 3 p.m. to obtain tickets, forward a stamped self-addressed envelope with a request for tickets to St. Jude Parish, 435 Mammoth Road, Londonderry, N.H. 03053.
St. Lucy, 254 Merrimack St., Methuen: Sisters Ann Whittaker and Anne Marie O’Shea lead a women’s morning of reflection April 21, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Title is, “A Women’s Morning of Reflection.” Cost is $10.
St. Luke the Evangelist, 8 Atkinson Depot Road, Plaistow, N.H.: Women’s breakfast and bible study on “Courageous Virtue,” is April 14 9-11 a.m. St.
St. Michael, 196 Main St., North Andover: The reverends John Delaney and Paul Keyes will be honored by parishioners April 1. The priests will con celebrate the noon Mass followed by a reception from 1 to 4 p.m. Keyes retired from active ministry and Delaney will become the new administrator at Sacred Hearts, Bradford.
St. Monica, 212 Lawrence St., Methuen: The parish celebrates Divine Mercy Sunday, April 15, 2:15 to 3:30 p.m. with recitation of the Rosary, readings, reflection, the Divine Mercy chaplet, exposition of the blessed sacrament and benediction. The Rev. Scott Ness provides music. on the third Sunday of the month, the 5:30 p.m. Mass will be signed by a volunteer using American Sign Language.
St. Patrick, 12 Main St., Pelham: quick journey through the Bible discovering the major people, places, events and themes Wednesdays 9 to 10:30 a.m. to may 2.
St. Theresa, of our Lady of good Counsel Parish, 22 Plymouth St., Methuen: Musician and speaker Martin Doman performs April 21 at 7 p.m. he has produced more than 10 compact discs, has appeared on EWTN’s Life on the Rock and Backstage. he is coordinator of praise and worship music ministry at Ave maria University in Florida.
St. Thomas Aquinas, 26 Crystal Ave., Derry: Book study on, “My Life with the Saints,” chapters 11-14 meets April 15, 3-5 p.m.
Universalist Unitarian, 15 Kenoza Ave., Haverhill: Contemplative Vespers services ends Wednesday at 6 p.m. First Meeting of the newly formed Men’s Spirituality Group is Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.