During Holy Week, Christians recall the events leading up to Jesus’ death by crucifixion and his resurrection. The week includes five days of special significance. The first is Palm Sunday, which commemorates Jesus’ humble entry (on a donkey) into Jerusalem to observe Passover. The week concludes with Good Friday and a day of silence leading to the Easter Vigil and Easter Services celebrating the Resurrection. For more information about Holy Week or the opportunities below, contact the Department of Religious Life, 910.630.7157, or email ktaylor@methodist.edu.   

(Note: The Labyrinth will be available Monday through Thursday. The Stations of the Cross will be available Monday through Sunday.)


Monday, March 25, “Trace the Labyrinth” Experience, Matthews Chapel
9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Labyrinths are meditation tools that have been used for centuries by many societies and cultures. There are different types of labyrinths, but they have common defining characteristics. Unlike a maze there is only one way into the center (and one way out). The path of the labyrinth often symbolizes a journey. Some are large enough to physically walk but some are not. Even a finger labyrinth can help us find calm and become more relaxed. Recognizing that Holy Week is a journey of devotion and introspection, we begin with the labyrinth meditation.  


Tuesday, March 26, Confession: “Nails of Repentance” outside Hensdale Chapel on the quad (inside Hensdale Chapel, if rain), Dawn until Dusk

The sensory act of hammering a nail into a wooden cross is one way of recalling the personal nature of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. The sins of all humanity, from our intolerance of one another and our sins of indifference to our apathy, are like nails in Christ’s hands and feet. Christians believe that Christ’s death on the cross atones for human sin and that repenting (turning) from one’s sin and believing in Christ’s death for the sins of the world and in his resurrection on the third day is the way to salvation.  

HUMILITY matters

Wednesday, March 27, CIRCUIT: Inspiration “A Service of Palms” outside Hensdale Chapel, 11 a.m.

Join us outside as the donkey (and other animals) return to campus for this special observance. The service of palms remembers Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem and being greeted by the people waving palm branches. For Christians, it is a reminder of the welcoming of Jesus into our hearts and of our willingness to follow him. The service (traditionally held on Sunday prior to Easter) also includes a reading of the Passion, that is, the story of the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. Christians see the Cross as symbolic of how prophets are often killed when they stand for justice and peace.   

LOVE matters

Thursday, March 28, Footwashing Stations outside Hensdale Chapel, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Holy Thursday (sometimes referred to as Maundy Thursday after the Latin mandatum or command to love one another) is a day when Christians commemorate the Last Supper of Jesus. In some traditions, there is the washing of the feet of members of the community to recall a gesture of Christ at the Last Supper when he washed the feet of his disciples. Jesus calls us to love one another and to serve all people, especially the poor. Footwashing stations will be available on the porch of Hensdale Chapel.   


Good Friday, March 29, “Stations of the Cross” for Good Friday, Matthews Chapel, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (and available all week)

Good Friday is a solemn day on which Christians recall the death of Jesus and its promise of hope and new life. The Stations of the Cross is a devotion that recalls the journey of Jesus on the Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrows) in Jerusalem to Calvary where he was crucified.   

Christians keep this devotion but also see in the suffering of Jesus a reminder to be concerned for the suffering of people in today’s world. For many Christians, this day is also a day of fasting and penance. This year’s Stations of the Cross walk includes interactive stations recounting the suffering of Christ and reflective questions that invite participants to assess the many aspects of personal wellbeing.  

LIFE matters

Easter Sunday, March 31, 2024 

Easter Sunday is the greatest feast in the Christian calendar. No other day is traditionally as sacred for the Christian community as Easter. This is the day Christians commemorate the resurrection of Christ. Easter is celebrated at a sunrise service early on Easter morning remembering that the women went to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body, found the tomb empty and encountered the risen Lord. Please join one of our partner churches for Easter Services on Sunday. For a complete list, visit MU Religious Life social media or contact the Religious Life office: mmcrimmon@methodist.edu or 910.630.7214.