The Three Days and Easter Worship Planning Checklist
Schedule rehearsals for the Holy Week liturgies.
Prepare extra communion elements and communionware for additional worshipers during Holy Week and Easter.
Publicize Holy Week and Easter services in local media.
Compile a list of lectionary readings.
Maundy Thursday Preparation
The liturgical color is either scarlet or white.
Secure basin(s), pitcher(s), and towels for the footwashing.
Recruit and prepare participants for both the footwashing and the stripping of the altar on Maundy Thursday.
Good Friday Preparation
The altar is to be bare. Paraments and flowers should be omitted.
Prepare a rough-hewn cross.
Easter Vigil Preparation
The liturgical color is white.
If used, gather handheld candles for the Easter Vigil.
Gather materials for starting and extinguishing a fire for the Easter Vigil.
Purchase a new paschal candle and place it in the chancel before the Easter Vigil for use throughout the fifty days of Easter.
Plan how the readings of the Easter Vigil will be read. Consider having a different person read each of the readings. Mark all readings in the Bible or lectionary for the convenience of the lectors.
If the Easter Vigil will be observed as a baptismal festival, prepare accordingly. Consider using the texts for Baptism, available from the Renewing Worship Web site.
The liturgical color is gold
Ready a sign-up list for people who wish to sponsor Easter lilies or other flowers for Easter Day and throughout the whole season.
Ensure additional seating, worship books, and service folders/bulletins for larger assemblies on Easter Day.
Ensure that guests can follow the service folders/bulletins easily. Include instructions for communion distribution.
Plan ways to emphasize the Day of Pentecost. Some congregations do one or more of the following: use red flowers; place seven lit votive candles in red glass on or near the altar (to recall the gifts of the Spirit); invite people to wear red; use different languages for the readings, prayers, or music for the day.
If Pentecost will be observed as a baptismal festival, prepare accordingly. Consider using the texts for Baptism, available from the Renewing Worship Web site.
Plan to extinguish the paschal candle after the final eucharist, at which point the candle is moved near the baptismal font (where it is lit only for baptisms and funerals).
- Mueller, Craig. Preparing the Assembly's Worship: A Worship Handbook. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2002. ISBN: 0806642912.
- Ramshaw, Gail. The Three-Day Feast: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2004. Recent decades have witnessed the revival of the ancient liturgies of the Three Days — Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil. In this book Ramshaw gives a little history and a lot of suggestions about how these services can enrich the worship life of your entire assembly. ISBN: 0806651156.
- Stauffer, S. Anita. Altar Guild and Sacristy Handbook. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2000. ISBN: 0806638966.
- Sundays and Seasons. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress. This is a comprehensive worship planning guide based on the Revised Common Lectionary and the church year. Provides worship outlines, alternate worship texts, and music suggestions. Also includes seasonal rites of Midweek Evening Prayer and Service of the Word.