By Polly Keary, Editor
Easter Sunday falls on April 20 this year, but some churches are holding special services all week long through Holy Week, which began on Palm Sunday, last weekend. For many denominations, Holy Week marks the end of Lent, a six-week period of austerity. Holy week can be a 10-day period beginning with the Friday of Sorrows, but typically the observance begins with Palm Sunday.
Palm Sunday commemorates the biblical passage of Jesus into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, greeted by worshippers who spread palm branches before him.
The next major observance of the week takes place on Maundy Thursday, or Holy Thursday, marking the Last Supper, upon which the tradition of Holy Communion was built.
Good Friday is for many a day of fasting and mourning the ordeal and subsequent crucifixion of Christ, which is thought to have taken place three days before the day when believers hold that he arose from the dead.
Holy Saturday is another day for reflection and sobriety, and then Easter Sunday begins at sundown Saturday.
Here is a guide to some of the Easter services at area churches this week:
First Baptist Church of Monroe
Easter Service will be at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.
17922 149th St. S.E., Monroe. (360) 794-8044
The Church of Our Savior, Episcopal
Maundy Thursday Service will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Easter Service will be at 10 a.m., with an egg hunt to follow the service
331 S. Lewis St., Monroe. (360) 794-4816
Peace Lutheran Church
Maundy Thursday Service, Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Good Friday Service, Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Easter Traditional Worship with Communion, Sunday 8 a.m.
Easter Children’s and Family Worship with Puppets, Sunday 10 a.m.
202 Dickinson Ave., Monroe. (360) 794-2082.
Morning Star Lutheran Church
Good Friday Service to be held at 7 p.m. Friday.
Easter Vigil for all youth groups begins at 10:30 p.m. Saturday.
Easter Celebration on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.
342 S. Lewis St., Monroe. (360) 794-2111
Monroe United Methodist Church
Easter Service is Sunday at 7:30 a.m. in the Prayer Garden.
Easter Brunch is Sunday at 8:15 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
Easter Celebration Service is Sunday at 9:30 a.m.
342 S. Lewis St., Monroe. (360) 794-8863.
St. Mary of the Valley Catholic Church
Holy Saturday Easter Confessions, Saturday from 3-5 p.m.
Easter Vigil begins Saturday evening at 8 p.m.
Easter Mass takes place in English at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday and in Spanish at noon.
601 W. Columbia St., Monroe. (360) 794-8945.
New Horizon Christian Church
Passover Seder dinner experience on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. will be a free sampling of traditional Seder dinner fare.
Easter Services at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Sunday.
There will be a light breakfast between services and an egg hunt for the kids after the second service.
18200 Cascade View Dr. S.E., Monroe.
Monroe Community Chapel
Easter Service at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
14377 Fryelands Blvd. S.E., Monroe. (360) 794-4440.
Sky Valley Bible Church
Easter Family Breakfast and Easter photos, 9:40-10:30 a.m. Sunday.
Easter Service and children’s program starts at 10:45 a.m. Sunday with Pastor Lonnie Anderson.
Wagner Performing Arts Center, 639 W. Main St. Monroe.
The Rock Church
Good Friday Service with a “Living Lord’s Supper” at 7 p.m. Friday.
Easter Services at 8:30, 10 and 11:30 a.m. Sunday.
16891 146th St. S.E. in Monroe. (360) 805-0699.
Christ the King Church
Easter Services will be at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.
19683 U.S. 2, Monroe. (360) 348-1085.
Crosswater Community Church, Sultan
Easter Services at 9 and 10:45 a.m. Sunday.
Sultan High School, 13715 310th Ave. S.E., Sultan,
The Church at Maltby Christian Assembly
Good Friday Gathering, Friday, 7 p.m.
Community Egg Hunt , Saturday, 10 a.m.
Easter Services 8:30, 10 and 11:30 a.m.
9322 Paradise Lake Rd., Snohomish, (425) 489-9898.