Holy Week & Easter – April 2 thru 9, 2023

Holy Week & Easter at First Church – April 2 to 9, 2023 – All are invited on the journey – including you!

Watch the Easter Festival Worship here:


Holy Week & Easter at First Congregational Church UCC/BTV – 

Let’s gather to listen, pray, meditate, enjoy beautiful music, hear inspiring preaching and celebrate the life-affirming message of Easter!

All worship services are open to all at First Congregational Church UCC of Burlington (38 South Winooski Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401) and on our YouTube Channel – the services are live streamed and recorded for later viewing.


Palm Sunday Worship will be in person at First Church & live streamed on our FirstChurchBTV YouTube Channel.

We’ll hear the story – and sing the songs – of this first step into Holy Week.  The Rev. Elissa Johnk will be preaching the sixth sermon in our Love Your Neighbor sermon series – Director of Music Amy Shortt and our Choirs are preparing beautiful music – there will be Communion open to all (with gluten-free option) – and palms for everyone!

  • Maundy Thursday Communion Dinner at 6pm at First Church – all are invited for a soup, salad, and bread communion dinner in the Chapel. We gather to remember Jesus’ last meal with the disciples.
    • Communion is always open to all – gluten free options for Communion and dinner.
  • The 7pm Tenebrae Service is a worship service of light and shadow. This will be in person and livestreamed on our YouTube Channel. 


“Then Jesus returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter.”              -Matthew 26:40

The Maundy Thursday Vigil: Let’s take turns, staying awake with Jesus during our 2023 Maundy Thursday Vigil – in person – at First Church from 8pm Thursday (following the Maundy Thursday Worship) until 5pm on Good Friday.

The Maundy Thursday Vigil closes with the Good Friday Prayer Service – from 6 to 6:30pm – all are invited to participate.

Sign up to participate in person for one hour of the Maundy Thursday Vigil – between 8pm Thursday and 5pm on Friday at First Church – use this LINK for more information and to sign up for an hour: https://bit.ly/thursdayvigil2023

You can also participate in the vigil independently – at home.  The “Home Vigil Guide” is LINKED HERE.

  • April 7 – Good Friday Prayer Service – 6 to 6:30pm: Gather at First Church to close our Maundy Thursday Vigil in prayer and song.

Easter Sunday – April 9:

  • Easter “Son-Rise” Worship at 6:30am – on the Burlington Waterfront (just north of the Echo Science Museum) – with the Rev. Elissa Johnk and the Rev. Ken White at 6:30am – a collaborative service of First Congregational Church UCC of Burlington and the College Street Church – open to all.


You are invited to Easter Worship at 10am at First Church UCC/BTV (or via live stream on YouTube). Easter worship will include:

  • An extraordinary musical prelude at 9:45am.
  • The Rev. Elissa Johnk will have a life affirming message for all ages.
  • Music will feature brass, drum, piano, organ, bells and our amazing choirs: Children’s, Youth, Bells and our Sanctuary Choir.
  • Nursery, Pre-K and K childcare will be available throughout worship — activity bags for children will be available in the worship service.
  • A wonderful reception – complete with delicious treats for all and eggs hidden for children to find – will follow worship.
  • You are invited: every age, every person, all are welcome here!  First Church is an open and affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ.

Worshiping virtually on Easter Sunday, April 9?    The extraordinary musical prelude will begin at 9:45am.

  • To view the live stream (or later recording) of the Sunday 10am worship – click on the YouTube graphic above or use this link: FirstChurchBTV YouTube Channel
  • CLICK for the Easter Sunday April 9, 2023 Order of Worship
  • CLICK for the Easter Sunday April 9, 2023 Announcements
  • Visiting First Church in person or remotely? Complete our Welcome Card using this LINK
  • Giving to First Church?  Learn more about how to give and about our Stewardship Campaign using this LINK
  • CLICK HERE to receive the First Church e-Newsletter


CLICK HERE for the Rev. Elissa Johnk’s Easter Letter

To give online to the Easter Offering mentioned in Elissa’s Easter letter – in support of the missions and ministries of First Church BTV – with a 10% tithe to the Vermont Conference UCC Hope Fund – CLICK HERE and select “Easter Offering”  – or – write a check to “First Church”, MEMO: Easter Offering.  Thank you!


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