Holy Week 2014

Whether you're a visitor or local, take time to experience Holy Week in the city where Christianity first came to America.

  • Easter is less than two weeks away, which means that Holy Week is less than one. St. Augustine is a city with deep religious roots, having served as the background for the first Mass celebrated in the country, home of the first parish, and a site for countless religious missionaries from all walks of Christianity. As such, the old city is a source of reverence and community for all those preparing for the Easter season, visitors and locals alike. Check out some of these Holy Week activities in St. Augustine starting with Palm Sunday.


    Palm Sunday - 4/13/14

    Blessing of the Fleet / 12 p.m. The annual Blessing of the Fleet will be conducted in Matanzas Bay following 11 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine. Head to the municipal marina at Avenida Menendez at 12 p.m. The blessing is for both pleasure and commercial craft. It's a tradition that dates back to 1946 and is always conducted on Palm Sunday in the oldest city. The procession from the Cathedral will include clergy, members of the Knights of Columbus and members of the Easter Festival Royal Family and Entourage.

    Palm Sunday BBQ @ Trinity Episcopal / 10 a.m.—3 p.m. Come out and eat some good BBQ chicken and ribs, baked beans and other fixings on Palm Sunday. All proceeds go to the youth group to help fund a mission trip. Cost is $7 a plate for home-cooked BBQ, with sweet tea and goodies.

    Palm/Passion Sunday @ Memorial Presbyterian / 8:30 a.m. & 11 a.m. Celebrate a traditional Palm Sunday Service with Memorial Presbyterian.

    Easter Cantata @ Ancient City Baptist / 11 a.m. Praise and worship take place at the Easter Cantata as the choir leads the congregation in prayer.


    Spy Wednesday - 4/16/14

    Wednesday of Holy Week is often called Spy Wednesday. It's the supposed day that Judas Iscariot met with the Sanhedron to betray Jesus for the price of 30 silver coins. 

    Chrism Mass @ Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine / 11 a.m. This Mass brings together priests from around the diocese as Bishop Estevez blesses the holy oils. The oils are used for anointing the sick and catechumens entering the Catholic Church at Easter.

    Lenten Organ Concert @ Memorial Presbyterian / 12 p.m. Come sit and enjoy a special Lenten concert featuring organist, Tom Rivers. He is a renowned organist in St. Augustine who has played at many of the historic churches in the city.

    Holy Unction @ Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church / 2 p.m. Holy Unction is offered to heal the body and souls of the faithful, and to offer forgiveness of sins. Unlike other faiths, Greek Orthodox followers use holy oil to anoint the sick in every form, as opposed to those near death.

    Confessions @ Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine / 6 p.m.—7 p.m. Receive the Sacrament of Penance before Easter rolls around.


    Holy Thursday - 4/17/14

    Also called Maundy Thursday, this day marks Jesus' last night with the apostles. He washed the feet of his followers before breaking bread with them for the Passover feast. It's a day of communion and service, remembering Jesus' commandment: "Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. "

    Worship Service @ Trinity Episcopal / 7 a.m.—8 a.m. Maundy Thursday service.

    12 Gospels Crucifixion of Our Lord @ Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church / 6 p.m. Go through the 12 gospels telling the crucifixion story of Jesus Christ.

    Mass of the Lord's Supper @ Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine / 7 p.m. Mass of the Lord's Supper is celebrated, where Bishop Estevez will wash the feet of selected parishioners who serve in the community.

    Communion Service @ Memorial Presbyterian / 7 p.m. Maundy Thursday Service of Communion featuring the Stripping of the Sanctuary in preparation for Good Friday.

    Eucharistic Adoration @ Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine / 8:45 p.m.—12 a.m. Reflect on the moment in which the apostles were called to spend an hour with the Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before he was sentenced to die. Jesus asks us "Could you not watch with me one hour?"


    Good Friday - 4/18/14

    Good Friday is the day of the Lord's Passion. It's when Jesus was sentenced to die and crucified. It's traditionally a day of fasting, praying, and remembering Christ's Passion. These St. Augustine services will help Christians prepare spiritually for the coming Easter season.

    Morning Prayer @ Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine / 8 a.m. In lieu of communion, celebrate Good Friday with Morning Prayer at the Cathedral.

    Communion Service @ Memorial Presbyterian / 12 p.m. Community Good Friday Service featuring Clergy from area churches.

    Good Friday Meditation @ Anastasia Baptist / 12 p.m. Join for a Good Friday meditation service to remember Jesus Christ's passing.

    Good Friday @ Trinity Episcopal Parish / 12 p.m.—3 p.m., 7 p.m. A liturgy will be celebrated from 12 p.m.—3 p.m., three o' clock marking the time of Jesus' death. A service at 7 p.m. will also be available.

    Liturgy of the Lord's Passion @ Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine / 3 p.m. At the traditional time of Jesus' death, this service remembers his Passion.

    The Other Good Friday @ St. Cyprian's Episcopal Church / 6 p.m. The predominate understanding in the Christian Church of Jesus’ death on a cross is “sacrificial redemption” for all humanity.  But it is not the only way to understand the crucifixion … did Jesus die for speaking truth to power?  Join us for another way to observe Jesus’ death on a cross.

    Evening Lamentations to the Lord @ Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church / 6 p.m. Pray the Lamentations to the Lord to honor the memory of his death.

    Stations of the Cross @ Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine / 7 p.m. Walk alongside Christ at this traditional prayer service that follows the moments leading up to Jesus' resurrection.


    And this is just the tip of the iceberg.Follow the link for a full list of events that will be rocking the city Easter Sunday.

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Updated: Sunday, April 6, 2014

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Alex Pooler

As Content Editor for VisitStAugustine.com, Alex writes and edits everything from articles to business profiles to events. She likes manatees, orange juice, and getting into a hot car on a scorchingly hot Florida summer day after being in AC for hours.