Good Friday and Easter services around the Island

The First Baptist Church in Vineyard Haven. — File Photo by Michael Cummo

Everyone is welcome to come when three churches First Baptist Church, Beacon of Hope Church, and Vineyard Assembly of God Church come together on Good Friday, March 30, at 7 pm at First Baptist Church on William Street in Vineyard Haven for a combined service.

The First Congregational Church of West Tisbury holds a traditional Easter service in the church sanctuary on Easter Sunday, April 1, at  9 am. Then, at 11 am, they host a Community Easter Service at the Ag Hall with child care and church school, followed by the Easter Egg Hunt in the Ag Hall field. The Easter services include special musical guests Joseph Christianson, violinist, and Andres Vera, cellist.

In lieu of Easter lily donations, they are once again asking the congregation for donations in memory or honor of loved ones. This money is given to the Vineyard Committee on Hunger Family to Family Holiday Meals program.

Beacon of Hope Church holds services on Maundy Thursday at Focus in West Tisbury at 6 pm, a Good Friday Tenebrae service with the Vineyard Assembly of God Church on State Road in Vineyard Haven at 7 pm, and an Easter Sunday service at 10 am at the Edgartown School with an Easter egg hunt during Sunday School.

Chilmark Community Church gathers for a sunrise service at Menemsha Beach at 6:15 am (if you want to walk to the beach from the church, get there at 5:30 am). There will be an Easter breakfast at the church from 7:15 to 8:45 am, with a worship service following at 9 am.

The United Methodist Church at the Campgrounds hosts a Holy Thursday service with communion at 7 pm on March 29. On Good Friday, March 30, the sanctuary will be open for meditation from noon to 3 pm. Everyone is invited to a 6 am sunrise service on Easter Sunday at Inkwell Beach, and there will be a 10 am worship service at the church, with Easter baskets for children following the service.

Grace Church plans a special service on Holy Saturday, the Easter Vigil. A press release from the church explains the tradition of this special weekend: “The traditional service begins in the darkness that began on Good Friday, and continues with the lighting of the new Paschal Candle and sharing of stories from the Hebrew Bible,” the release states. “The service moves to the baptismal font where new members to the Christian faith who studied throughout the season of Lent are baptized or baptismal promises to God are renewed. Then all the lights are lit and bells ring out with the Good News of the Resurrection and the first Holy Communion of Easter is celebrated.”

Children and their families are invited to this service at Grace Church, which begins at 7 pm in the church’s playground, around the light of a campfire. There will be singing, stories, and telling the story of Easter. Everyone then walks “to the front door of the church with lighted candles, knocking to gain entrance, walking through the darkened church to the Children’s Chapel and finally back to the fully lit church to greet the risen Christ with shouts of alleluia and the ringing of bells.”

The colored eggs and treats are saved for Easter Sunday, after the 10 am church service, with an Easter egg hunt on the church grounds.

At St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, the Maundy Thursday service with the choir begins at 7 pm. Good Friday services begin with a 12 pm service with music and a 4 pm service with the Stations of the Cross. There’s an Easter egg hunt on Saturday, March 31, at 9 am at 10 Bold Meadow Road in Edgartown. Then Easter Sunday, April 1, there are services at 8 am, 9:15 am, and 10:30 am.

The Federated Church in Edgartown offers a Maundy Thursday service on March 29 at 7 pm. On Good Friday, the church will be open for those who want to stop by from 9 am to 3 pm. There’s an Easter sunrise service at the parsonage on 75 South Water St. at 6:30 am and an Easter worship service at 10:30 am at the church.

Good Shepherd Parish hosts a Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7 pm. On Good Friday, March 30, the most solemn day in the church calendar, from noon to 2:30 pm, St. Augustine’s hosts “The Seven Last Words,” a series of seven 20-minute segments reflecting on the last words of Jesus. Also on Good Friday there’s a service at 3 pm with liturgy of the word, veneration of the cross, and communion. Stations of the Cross take place in English at 6 pm and in Portuguese at 7 pm. Then Saturday, March 31, the Easter vigil service is at 7:30 pm. The high point of the liturgical year, at the Easter vigil the congregation watches as the catechumens receive the sacraments of baptism, communion, and confirmation. There’s an Easter Sunday sunrise service at Sheriff’s Meadow Beach at 6:30 am. Easter Mass is at 8 and 9:30 am at St. Augustine’s, and at 11 am at St. Elizabeth’s in Edgartown.

If you’d like to add your church’s service here, please email information to