Diocesan Rites for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the Great Vigil of Easter, and Easter Morning

These services have been created for us to share as a Diocese. Some are designed for household use, and others to allow you to follow along as Archbishop Anne leads us in word and prayer broadcasting from St. Luke’s Cathedral in Sault Ste. Marie. Those meant for domestic settings provide simple guidelines for preparation to be done ahead of time. They also can be shared by a number of households via various internet platforms that many people use already, if desired.


The broadcasts will be available on our Diocesan channel on YouTube (type Algoma Diocese in the search bar) and on our Facebook page (type The Diocese of Algoma: Shaped by a Living Hope in the search bar).

In this time of pandemic and isolation when we are unable to gather around the Lord’s Table and share in the Eucharist, these rites have been designed to help us mark the key moments of the Paschal Triduum (the Three Days of Christian Passover). Each of the service forms below, then, is fashioned to correspond with the final liturgy of Lent (The Blessing of the Oils) and the primary liturgies of the Paschal Triduum. They are crafted to be simple to use and yet significant enough to mark these days.


The Blessing of Oils is the traditional service during which a bishop presides over the consecration of the oils of Sacred Chrism and Anointing of the Sick. These oils are first used during the Triduum, when those being baptized are anointed with the scented Chrism. This service developed historically in large part because the bishop could no longer be present at the rites of Christian Initiation everywhere these would be celebrated, particularly during the Easter Vigil. It was a way ‘he’ (at the time) could remain involved. Normally the oils are consecrated in the context of the Eucharist. This modified rite will ensure we have access to fresh oils when we can once again gather together. The link takes you to a form you can use if you watch and pray with the broadcast from the Cathedral, which launches at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 9, 2020.

Blessing of Oils (2020)


The Holy Eucharist with the Washing of Feet belonging to the evening of Maundy Thursday has been replaced with an Agape Meal and optional foot washing to be celebrated in households:

Agapé for Maundy Thursday (2020)



Good Friday’s Celebration of the Lord’s Passion, with the Solemn Intercession and the Veneration of/Meditation on the Cross, has been modified for broadcast from the Cathedral at 3:00 p.m. Here is the service form:

Good Friday 2020b

The Great Vigil of Easter, with the Service of Light, Liturgy of the Word, Celebration of Baptism and/or Renewal of Baptismal Vows, and the Holy Eucharist now takes the form of a smaller and simplified rite for a domestic setting. This form of service contains a modified Service of Light, Vigil Readings, Renewal of Baptismal Vows, Thanksgiving for Baptism, Liturgy of the Word, and a time to enjoy foods that reflect the end of Lenten Fasting and beginning of Easter feasting:

Easter Vigil for Households During this Time of Pandemic


The morning liturgy of the First Sunday of Easter begins with the ringing of bells from our church buildings across the Diocese at 9:00 a.m. (Your household may wish to ring bells, too, at the same hour.) The rite provided here accompanies the subsequent broadcast of a Liturgy of the Word from our Cathedral:

Easter 1 (2020)


For those without online access, the following two rites have been prepared


Good Friday in the Household:

Good Friday – Household (2020)


1st Sunday of Easter in the household:

Easter 1 (2020) Household


These latter two documents and the domestic rites above will need to be delivered to households in your parish you know do not have internet access.


Even if you are preparing other resources for use in your congregation in observance of Holy Week, we ask you to make available and encourage all members to participate in these rites, too, so we share together as a Diocese.


Additional prayers and resources for home use during Holy Week will be posted here and/or on our Facebook page over the next few days. Among these will be various devotional versions of the Stations of the Cross, one of which is designed specially for use with children, and another a homegrown resource for right here in the Diocese of Algoma. So stay tuned!


Next week we plan to post a service suitable for each of the Sundays of the 50-Day Season of Easter that can be used in the context of a household meal. These should prove worthy of use whether we are still in isolation or once again gathering Sunday mornings at the Table of the Lord.


In the meantime, here is one more resource you may find helpful as you pray this over this challenging time. It is called ‘Passing Through the Waters,” and it contains a variety of prayers for times of isolation and pandemic. You may want to use it as you pray the Daily Office, in your devotional time, or simply whenever a particular need arises: