The Paschal Triduum
and Easter Services

drawings: bread and a chalice; Jesus' crucified palm; a resurrected Christ emerging from the tomb
The Paschal Triduum (Paschal from the Hebrew פֶּסַח, transliterated as "Pesach," meaning "Passover," and triduum from the Latin for "three days") refers to the three days from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday, sundown to sundown. They are among the holiest days of the year for Christians and observed with great sincerity and preparation at the Church of the Ascension. Join us as you are able for the most reflective, somber, expectant and joyful services of the Christian year, in person at Fifth Avenue and 10th Street or online at

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Maundy Thursday, April 6, 7 pm

Drawing of Jesus washing a disciple's feet“Maundy” is a Middle English word, after the Anglo-French word “mandet,” for the mandate from Jesus to his disciples on the night before he was captured and killed (John 13:34): “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” To demonstrate his love and service to those who followed him, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. This was on the night now known as the Last Supper, which forms the basis for our communion service, the Eucharistic Feast. To symbolize Christ’s call to service, it is traditional for feet to be washed during this service. To commemorate his institution of the Eucharist, bread and wine will be consecrated as his Body and Blood. Then, in preparation for our call to the cross, the chancel and sanctuary area around the altar will be stripped of decoration, containers, and sources of light, and we will leave the service in quietness and darkness.

Good Friday, April 7, noon

The service this day is one of the most affecting of the year — perhaps, for Episcopalians, because it is observed in sharp contrast to the color and festivity marking our usual, instinctive response to the Good News of God’s grace. With clergy and choir more plainly attired, the liturgy’s lamentations, and the somber retelling of the Passion (from the Latin passio or passionem, for “suffering”) of Christ, the starkness of the service is the best reminder that, as is often said by preachers, “there is no Easter apart from Good Friday.” We will take Communion, but it will be from the sacraments consecrated the evening before and held in reserve (with an all-night vigil by prayerful watchers) in the chapel for this purpose. And then — fear and trembling perhaps yielding to hope and expectation — we wait.

Holy Saturday: The Great Vigil of Easter, April 8, 8 pm

At dusk on the third day, candlelight servicewe gather in darkness to kindle new fire, which we then share among ourselves as candlelight. We remind ourselves of the record of God’s saving deeds in history, how he saved his people in ages past, including Israel’s deliverance at the Red Sea. At the important midpoint of the service, two parishioners will receive the sacrament of Baptism. Then with joyful exuberance, we celebrate the discovery of an empty tomb with the first Eucharist of Easter: He is risen! Alleluia!

Easter Sunday, April 9, at 9 am, 11 am and 6 pm

We invite you to join us for any and all of these services, in person or online at And, of course, on Easter Sunday we really celebrate! First, with a joyful “said” Eucharist at 9 am; then the full festal Eucharist — with full choir, incense, lilies, and probably several women sporting fine millinery — at 11 am, followed by a festive Easter Brunch in the Parish Hall; and finally a quieter, but no less joyful, service of meditation and the sacrament at 6 pm.

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Parish News:
October 1

We will celebrate the Feast of St. Francis — the saint who preached to the birds and called a wolf his brother — with the blessing of the animals following the 11 am service this Sunday, October 1. The blessing will be around 12:30 pm, giving those who live nearby a chance to go and get their animals; however, you are also welcome to bring well-behaved pets to church that day. Tell your friends!

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Sermon: 17th Sunday after Pentecost

Listen to the sermon preached by the Rev. Posey Krakowsky on the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 24, 2023. The readings for this day: Exodus 16:2-15; Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45; Philippians 1:21-30; Matthew 20:1-16.

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