Holy Week & Easter, 2020

Welcome to 
The Church of St. Paul and Incarnation!

An Episcopal / Anglican Parish
in the Heart of Jersey City

Holy Week and Easter Services:

Palm Sunday (April 5), 10:00am
Maundy Thursday (April 9), 7:00pm
Good Friday (April 10), noon
Holy Saturday (April 11), 9:00am
Easter Day (April 12), 10:00am

Live-streamed on:


Join us for "Church By Phone" prayer services, 
Monday through Friday, 
7:30am, noon, and 5:30pm

Stations of the Cross on Wednesdays at 7:00pm

Email tmurphy@stpaulsjc.org for access information.

A Message From the Rector

April 3, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In normal times, the life of the church is shaped by the liturgical calendar, the roadmap of Bible passages and feast days and seasons that guide us over the course of the year.

These are most certainly not normal times, but I find that our life "apart yet together" is still guided by the calendar, maybe more than ever.

In the midst of so much anxiety, fear, and suffering, it has been an unexpectedly beautiful gift to gather with many of you for our "Church By Phone" services. It is so good to hear your voices, to share your prayers, to sometimes even laugh, and, most of all, to feel the love that holds together our community.

These services over the phone are also giving us an opportunity to dig deep into Scripture. I've been especially engrossed by our morning services when we read from the Old Testament. Over the past few days we've been hearing the first episodes in what is the central story of Israel, the exodus from Egypt under the leadership of Moses.

By the time Moses was born, the Israelites had been in Egypt for a long time but now they were oppressed by hardhearted Pharoah, a leader who feared and resented the large numbers of these "foreigners" in his land and yet depended on their slave labor. He did not want to let them go. But, God heard the plea of Israel, and, as usual, chose a most unlikely leader to lead his people to freedom.

As you may remember, plagues are part of this story, and it's hard to read those passages and not think of our own situation as a dangerous virus burns through our land and around the world. Perhaps the plague we are enduring will soften our hearts, helping us to realize that there is no "us" and "them," challenging us to recognize the great truth that we are all in this together, forcing us to see that if one part of our society is unwell then we are all in danger.

But for the people of Israel and for the generations of people who have heard and been inspired by the tale of Moses and his people, who have celebrated Passover for thousands of years, the heart of the exodus story is liberation.

God is the God of liberation, freeing us from the chains that bind us.

This Sunday we will remember Jesus entering his capital of Jerusalem, a city occupied by the Romans, a city filled with people remembering God's past liberating acts and looking for God to unchain them once again. Every Passover, the Roman and the Jewish authorities were extra attentive to any signs of uprising, any hints of trouble. And so, when the teacher and healer from Galilee rode into the city and was greeted by people laying branches and cloaks on the road and hailing him as a king, the worldly powers wasted no time to end the life of Jesus of Nazareth. He never wanted an earthly realm but he still threatened the powers of the world by proclaiming a kingdom where it's the poor and hungry who are blessed. So, no surprise, the authorities aimed to quash the hope of liberation offered by the Son of God. For a time it seemed they had succeeded. But, not for long.

I'm sorry that we won't be able to gather as we usually do for Palm Sunday. I'll miss assembling in the garden and the disorientation of figuring out where we're going and what exactly we're singing. I'll miss hearing many different voices reading the Passion. There is a lot to miss but I hope you will still join us on Facebook at 10:00am. And, if you are able, try to gather up some branches or stemmed flowers so that you are also able to welcome the King into his capital. I have attached to this email an order of service for Palm Sunday.

Next week is Holy Week and we will be live-streaming services on Maundy Thursday (7:00pm), Good Friday (noon), and Holy Saturday (9:00am). We will not celebrate the Great Vigil of Easter but we will gather (virtually) on Easter Day at 10:00am. Parishioners will be receiving in the mail a booklet that will guide you through all of these services. Many thanks to Susan Den Herder for doing such a great job putting that together on very short notice.

Please be assured of my prayers during these difficult, but also holiest, of days.


A Few Important Items:

1. If you have not already, please complete your census form. For many reasons, it is very important that we are counted accurately.

2. Thank you to everyone who has been able keep up with their pledges and those who gave to our feeding ministries. It is much appreciated.

3. Parishioner Mia Scanga writes about an urgent opportunity for volunteering and/or donating:

"Last week I joined a local JC group of garment professionals who are organizing volunteer sewers in Jersey City to make medical gowns.   They self financed the first 300 gowns, which are going to the JC Medical Center & Mount Sinai in NYC on Thursday.   Now they’re raising money through their GoFundMe page.   The link to their FB page is below.  I think this crisis will be going on for some time to come. 
We’re looking for more sewers.  It’s not complicated sewing, just lots of it but you need your own machine.  They drop off all pre-cut fabric, thread, plastic gloves & then they’ll pick-up in the bags they provide."

Service Schedule:

Monday through Friday: "Church By Phone"*

Morning Prayer, 7:30
Noonday Prayer, 12:00
Evening Prayer, 5:30

Stations of the Cross, Wednesday at 7:00pm

Call: 425-436-6393
Access Code: 577180#

* Note: No Noonday Prayer on Good Friday

Sunday at 10:00am

Join us on Facebook Live for a celebration of Holy Eucharist

Holy Week & Easter

Join us on Facebook Live for the following services:

Maundy Thursday, 7:00pm
Good Friday, noon
Holy Saturday, 9:00am
Easter Day, 10:00am

Helpful Resources:

The Diocese of Newark posts Covid-19 resources here:

You can subscribe to diocesan newsletters here:

The Epscopal Church has collected Covid-19 resources here:

And, "Habits of Grace," weekly reflections from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry:

The Church of England has some wonderful prayers and other materials here:

My sermons can be found here: