Thursday, March 22 , 2018, 1:39 am | Light Rain 59º


Easter Week at St. Mark’s a Community Celebration

Annual children's egg hunt is all it's cracked up to be

Children are invited to bring their own baskets and look for treats in the church’s courtyard and gardens.
Children are invited to bring their own baskets and look for treats in the church’s courtyard and gardens. (St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley)

Community members are invited to celebrate 2018 Holy Week and Easter with services and activities at St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal, 2901 Nojoqui Ave., Los Olivos.

“Holy Week is at the heart of the Christian year," said the Rev. Randall Day, priest and rector.

"It is not only an observance of the final days of Jesus Christ’s earthly life, but also is a re-presentation or re-living of those days with Jesus and a faith community in a profound spiritual way," he said.

"Here at St. Mark’s, we practice a spacious Christianity, where there is room for absolutely everyone; and invite all members of the community to celebrate Easter here with us,” Rev. Day said.

Year-round, St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley serves as a community, music, arts and welcome center with a range of opportunities for spiritual formation and services for all ages.

Doors at the church are open to all every day. Also available are an outdoor courtyard and labyrinth for rest, prayer and meditation, as well as a preschool.
Following is the schedule of St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley’s 2018 Easter services and activities:
» Palm Sunday, March 25:

Services 8 and 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., with the blessing and distribution of palms at all services.
» Maundy Thursday, March 29:

A simple supper for all will be served in Stacy Hall at 6 p.m., preceding the Liturgy of the Day at 7 p.m. The service includes the washing of feet or hands (for those who wish) and recalls Christ’s institution of the sacrament of communion.

"The word ‘maundy’ comes from John 13:34 that refers to a new mandate (mandatum novum in Latin) or commandment,” Rev. Day, said.

In this scripture, Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”  
» Good Friday, March 30:

The Liturgy of the Day at 7 p.m. features communion from the reserved sacrament. Good Friday is a solemn service in commemoration of Christ’s death on the cross.

» The Easter Vigil, Saturday, March 31:

The Great Vigil of Easter at 8 p.m. features the liturgy of the new fire, blessing of the Paschal Candle, the great Alleluia, and the first Eucharist of Easter. A free reception with local wines, soft drinks, hors d’oeuvres and desserts follows the service.

“This is one of the most ancient of all special Christian liturgies and sums up much of what is involved in being Christian.  Special music is part of the service," Rev. Day said.

"Worshippers may bring a bell to help celebrate the joyous announcement of Easter,” he said. 
» Easter Day, Sunday, April 1:

At 8 and 10 a.m., the Easter Festival Eucharist with special music and choir will be offered at both services. There is a reception featuring complimentary refreshments and conversation after each service.

The church will be decorated with floral displays created by members of St. Mark’s Altar Guild and other members.

At 9:15 a.m., the popular St. Mark’s Easter Egg Hunt will be held in the courtyard and gardens for toddlers and children through elementary school age (kids, please bring your own basket). For more information, visit

— Laura Kath for St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church.

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