Storrs churches began a weekend of commemoration last night with Holy Thursday, or Maundy Thursday, and will continue with Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Compared to other days of worship, attendance on Easter Sunday is not as high because many students go home or to their families on the weekend.
Chris Smith, campus ministry coordinator for the St. Thomas Aquinas Church, located on North Eagleville Road, said he expects normal Sunday attendance, about 150-200 parishioners.
St. Thomas Aquinas will offer services at 7 p.m. on Good Friday, as well as 8:30 a.m. on Sunday. An Easter Vigil mass will be held on Saturday at 8 p.m. Smith said he expects more students to attend services on Thursday and Friday, rather than Sunday.
Smith explained that Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday make up the Catholic Church’s Holy Triduum, three days of worship in which “each part flows into the next.”
The Storrs Congregational Church, also located on North Eagleville Road, expects attendance at their worship services similar to last year, about 300 people throughout all masses, said Office Administrator Deborah Gacek.
The Congregational Church will offer a prayer vigil from noon to 3 p.m. today for parishioners to pray in solitude around the foot of the cross.
There will be two services on Sunday, a sunrise service at 6 a.m. and a festival service at 10 a.m.
At St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, located on North Eagleville Road, two similar services will be offered on Sunday. At 7:45 a.m. a quiet and contemplative service will be held, according to Linda Austin-Small, parish administrator. Then, at 10 a.m. a full service with the children’s choir and adult choir will be held.
On Good Friday, St. Marks will hold a 1 p.m. liturgy and choir service, and another service at 6:30 p.m.
Austin-Smalls expect about 80-100 people at the Good Friday services, and about 250 people at the Easter Sunday services.
“But, there is always room for more,” Austin-Smalls said.
Hope Lutheran Church, located on Dog Lane behind Storrs Center, is offering a Good Friday service at 7 p.m. and an Easter Sunday worship at 10 a.m.
The Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Church on Dog Lane will have services today from noon to 3 p.m. to decorate the tomb of Jesus. There will also be a 7 p.m. service.
On Saturday, services will occur from 11 p.m. until after midnight.
Holy Thursday commemorates the last supper before Jesus Christ is betrayed; Good Friday, the crucifixion and death of Jesus; and Easter Sunday, Jesus’s resurrection.
Because Easter Sunday is one of the most joyous days in the religious year, local churches often have extra celebrations that day. For example, the Storrs Congregational Church is offering a breakfast and an Easter egg hunt for the children on Sunday between masses. The Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Church will have an outside celebration with food on Sunday at 2 p.m.
More information on all services can be found on the churches’ websites.
Claire Galvin is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.