Celebrate the Risen Christ at Holy Wisdom Monastery

Holy Wisdom Monastery Benedictine Bridge, Prayer & Worship Leave a Comment

By Lynn Lemberger, director of prayer and worship and
Carolyn McGinley, director of communications

Processing to the baptismal font during the Easter Vigil.
Come experience Holy Week at the monastery!
Photo by Gregory Bleck

Worship at Holy Wisdom Monastery is ecumenical, meaning the unity of Christians. Services follow the Christian tradition and are also shaped by Benedictine spirituality. All are welcome and encouraged to participate fully. This includes the prayer and worship services during Holy Week and Easter.

As in most Christian churches, Holy Week is the most sacred time of the liturgical year at Holy Wisdom Monastery. During this week we offer times of liturgy, beginning with Palm Sunday and ending with the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday, in addition to daily prayer (the prayer schedule varies slightly during Holy Week, see schedule below).

Special Liturgy of the Hours schedule during Holy Week
The daily prayer of the monastic community is open to the public and takes place in the monastery oratory (lower level).

  • Centering Prayer (silent group meditation) at 7:35 am, Tuesday through Saturday and 4:55 pm, Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Morning Prayer at 8:00 am every day
  • Midday Prayer at 11:45 am, Monday through Saturday
  • Evening Prayer at 4:30 pm, Sunday through Wednesday


Holy Week liturgies in the monastery assembly room (main level) are open to all:

Palm Sunday, March 24, 2013, 9:00 am
With the blessing of palms and procession, Holy Week begins with remembering Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. In the scripture readings we hear the Passion of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke.
Because the sisters value care for the earth practices, the palms used at Holy Wisdom Monastery are purchased from Eco-Palms. Eco-palms are sustainably harvested and fairly traded. The money spent on the palms directly benefits the communities where the palms are harvested. The palms are also being harvested in an environmentally friendly way. Purchasing these palms protects the forests they are grown in.

Paschal Triduum — The Three Holy Days

Holy Thursday, March 28, 2013, 6:00 pm social, 7:00 pm service
The Holy Thursday worship service begins with a social and an opportunity for fellowship. The liturgy emphasizes our unity as a Christian community and our responsibility of service to others. Everyone is invited to wash others’ feet or have their own feet washed if they wish. A collection is taken at this service which goes to assist the Vera Court and Saint Vincent DePaul Society food pantries. The liturgy concludes with time for silent prayer.

Good Friday, March 29, 2013, 3:00 pm
During the Good Friday liturgy four excerpts from the Passion of John are read, each followed by a short reflection by a member of Sunday Assembly. The readings are John 18: 1-11 about the betrayal and arrest of Jesus; John 18: 15-18 when Peter denies Jesus; John 18: 28-40 where Jesus goes before Pilate and; John 19: 16b-30 the crucifixion of Jesus. With a simple chant, a wooden cross is brought into the midst of the community for all to venerate (pay respect). In the prayers of intercession we respond to the Passion of Jesus with prayers for the needs of the world.

Easter Vigil, March 30, 2013, 8:30 pm
This liturgy begins after the sun goes down and lasts longer than a typical service.  The focus is on the great stories of salvation history from the Bible. The community blesses the new Easter fire outside and lights the Easter candle as a symbol of the risen Jesus. The Exsultet is sung followed by the New Testament reading, culminating in the great “Alleluia” and the Easter Gospel. The Easter water is blessed as a symbol of life and all join in renewing their baptismal promises and the sharing of communion. A social follows the liturgy and offers another time of fellowship.

Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013, 9:00 am
The season of Easter lasts 50 days, ending with Pentecost. We celebrate the resurrection and proclaim the Risen Christ in scripture, song, baptismal renewal and Eucharist.

We encourage you to come to Holy Wisdom Monastery during Holy Week and Easter and participate in one or all of the liturgies or prayer services we offer. If you would like to enhance your Holy Week experience consider attending our Holy Week at the Monastery retreat or spend time on a personal retreat.

To learn more about prayer and worship at Holy Wisdom Monastery contact Lynn Lemberger at llemberger@benedictinewomen.org or 608-836-1631, x138

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