Easter Week Services in Old Greenwich

First Congregational Church of Greenwich, 108 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich has planned a full schedule of Easter Week services and events. “We want to recognize the many aspects of Easter, and the many meanings it has for Christians in our community,” said Chris Hartwell, chair of the Church Council at First Church. “Each of our services and events focuses on one or more of the vital themes of the Easter story — themes of faith, commitment, and ultimate redemption. The conclusion, of course, is a joyous celebration on Easter Sunday. All are welcome to join in all of our services and events.”

The Easter Week services begin on Thursday, April 13, with a simple supper at 6 p.m. in the Church Auditorium, followed by holy communion. “The Maundy Thursday service is a remembrance of Jesus’ Last Supper with the Apostles,” said First Church Senior Pastor Richard DenUyl, Jr., “when he demonstrated his loving humility by washing their feet, and invited them to share a loaf of bread, saying ‘This is my body, which is given for you.’ Immediately following, at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday in the Meetinghouse, will be the service of Tenebrae, which represents the darkening hours between the Last Supper and Jesus’ condemnation on the next day.  Scripture readings are interspersed with the extinguishing of candles until the room is completely dark.”

On Good Friday, April 14, all are welcome to meet at noon in front of the church, across from Binney Park, to join in the traditional “Cross Walk.” Carrying a large wooden cross, the church Youth will lead the procession down Sound Beach Avenue and Shore Road to Tod’s Point, where the cross will remain until the Sunrise Service on Sunday.

The evening service for Good Friday, at 7:30 p.m. in the Meetinghouse, will include readings, hymns, and the “Requiem” by internationally known composer and conductor Bob Chilcott. The musical presentations will feature Hanna Golodinskii, soprano, and Drew Seigla, tenor, with the First Church Chancel Choir and a chamber ensemble of flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, timpani, organ, all conducted by Dr. Craig Scott Symons.

“Easter Saturday” is the day for families with children to get ready for an Easter Egg hunt, and learn about how our secular traditions reflect the meaning of Easter. “Brightly colored eggs have been a symbol of joyous rebirth in many cultures, and for Christians this rebirth and new life is powerfully embodied in the resurrection of Jesus,” said Youth Pastor Patrick Collins. “On Saturday, we are providing a hassle-free, mess-free opportunity for families to dye and decorate their hard-boiled eggs in our recreation room, and join their kids in a search for hidden signs of Easter around the church.”

Easter Sunday brings three very special services, beginning at 6 a.m. at Tod’s Point, where the First Church Youth and Youth Choir lead the worship as the sun rises over the water and the beach. It can be as chilly as it is beautiful at the beach at daybreak, so warm and comfortable clothes are suggested. Later in the morning, Festival Services will be held in the Meetinghouse at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., each featuring a very special brass ensemble with timpani. The 9 a.m. service will also hear the Youth Choir directed by Carolyn Paulus, with Associate Pastor Avery Manchester preaching. At 11 a.m., the Chancel Choir will perform and Senior Pastor Richard DenUyl, Jr. will be preaching. As is the tradition at First Church, each Festival Service will conclude with the congregation joining in for a rousing and joyous singing of Handel’s famous Hallelujah Chorus.

Complete schedule for Easter Week at First Church in Old Greenwich:

  • April 13: Maundy Thursday — 6 p.m. Supper, fellowship and communion in the Auditorium; 7:15 p.m.: Tenebrae Service in the Meetinghouse
  • April 14: Good Friday — noon, Cross Walk from the church to the shore, led by Youth; 7:30 p.m.: Service of Readings and Music in the Meetinghouse; Requiem by Bob Chilcott, featuring Hanna Golodinskii and Drew Siegla, with Chancel Choir and Instrumental Ensemble  
  • April 15: Easter Saturday — 10-noon Family Easter Preparations in Daniels Center. Egg dyeing and decorating; hunting for hidden signs of Easter; labyrinth walk; and prayer in the Auditorium
  • April 16: Easter Sunday — 6 a.m.: Sunrise Service at Tod’s Point. Patrick Collins preaching, with worship led by First Church Youth; 9 a.m. Festival Service in the Meetinghouse. Avery Manchester preaching, with Youth Choir and brass ensemble; 11 a.m., Festival Service in the Meetinghouse. Richard DenUyl, Jr. preaching, with the Chancel Choir and brass, ensemble

For more information, visit fccog.org.

Hanna Golodinskii, a soprano familiar to New York opera and classical music fans, will be featured soloist at the 7:30 pm Good Friday service at First Congregational Church in Old Greenwich.

Hanna Golodinskii, a soprano familiar to New York opera and classical music fans, will be featured soloist at the 7:30 pm Good Friday service at First Congregational Church in Old Greenwich.

First Church Youth will lead the traditional Cross Walk from Binney Park to Tod’s Point on Good Friday at noon.

First Church Youth will lead the traditional Cross Walk from Binney Park to Tod’s Point on Good Friday at noon.

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