Lent and Easter at
Fourth Presbyterian Church

Easter Sunday Worship
Easter Brunch

Especially for Children and Families

Daily Lenten and Easter Devotions

One Great Hour of Sharing Offering
Easter Flowers

Looking Back: “Ashes on the Way”
Palm/Passion Sunday
Maundy Thursday
Good Friday
Holy Saturday | Easter Vigil


Easter Sunday Worship: April 21

Please note that the last morning service on Easter Sunday begins at 11:30 a.m.

6:30 a.m. | Sunrise Service
at Oak Street Beach
with Communion
Judith L. Watt preaching

8:00, 9:30, and 11:30 a.m.
Shannon J. Kershner preaching
11:30 a.m. service is live-streamed at www.bit.ly/FPCworship

9:30 a.m. | Children’s Program
in the Gratz Center

4:00 p.m. | Jazz Service
in Buchanan Chapel
with Communion
Joe Morrow preaching

In celebration of the resurrection of the Lord, we gather for a variety of Easter worship opportunities on Sunday, April 21: a sunrise service at Oak Street Beach, three Easter morning services in the Sanctuary, and afternoon Easter jazz worship with Communion in Buchanan Chapel.

The Easter sunrise service on Oak Street Beach begins at 6:30 a.m., with Judy Watt preaching.

There are three morning worship services in the Sanctuary at 8:00, 9:30, and 11:30 a.m., with Shannon Kershner preaching.

The jazz service with Communion is held at 4:00 p.m. in Buchanan Chapel, with Joe Morrow preaching.

Please note that the last worship service of the morning begins at 11:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday in order to accommodate the number of worshipers throughout the morning.

Also please keep in mind that Sanctuary seating for all morning services fills quickly and early, and there may be possible delays in entering and exiting the parking garages as a result of increased traffic volume.

Nursery care for children under the age of five will be available on the first floor of the Gratz Center between 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Children five years of age through fifth grade are invited to participate in our 9:30 a.m. Easter children’s program on the fourth floor of the Gratz Center, which will be followed by an Easter egg hunt on the fifth floor. Of course, children are always welcome to worship with their parents at any service!

For those who are unable to be with us on Easter Sunday or who want to share the service with those who are out of town, we will be live streaming the 11:30 a.m. Easter service at www.bit.ly/FPCworship (and also accessible at www.fourthchurch.org), where it will be viewable in the days afterwards as well.

Back to top

Easter Brunch

Join Fourth Church members and friends, families and individuals, for our annual Easter brunch at 12:30 p.m. in the Borwell Dining Room on Easter Sunday, April 21.

The menu will include sliced ham, crisp bacon, scrambled eggs, hash browns, fresh fruit, waffles and syrup, Danish, orange juice, coffee, tea, and milk.

All are invited for this special time of fellowship and celebration!

Reservations (required) can be made online or by contacting Anne Ellis

Back to top

Good Friday and Easter for Children and Families

Good Friday Children's Program
   Friday, April 19
   5:30 p.m. in Buchanan Chapel

Although Good Friday is a vital component of the Easter story, the difficult subject of Jesus’ death is often omitted for children in favor of the easier celebrations of Palm Sunday and Easter morning. In order to help children better understand the Easter story, our Children’s Good Friday program is designed to help introduce Jesus’ death to them without overwhelming them with details.

Back to top

Easter Sunday Children’s Event

   Sunday, April 21
   9:30 a.m. on the fourth and fifth floors of the Gratz Center

An Easter program for children four years of age through fifth grade is held at 9:30 a.m. on Easter morning. All children begin the morning together and then rotate between three different rooms, where they interact with figures from the Gospel stories and make Easter crafts. Children are then invited to go on an Easter egg hunt throughout the fifth floor of the Gratz Center.

Back to top

Daily Lenten and Easter Devotions

Written by Fourth Church members and staff, every year our daily Lenten devotions are available in a variety of ways:

Back to top

One Great Hour of Sharing Offering

Your gifts to our Lenten One Great Hour of Sharing Offering touch the lives of those in need, respond to injustice, provide shelter, and feed the hungry, both here in our city and around the world.

Your gifts support

Presbyterian Hunger Program, which takes action to alleviate hunger, care for creation, and address the systemic causes of poverty so all may be fed

Self-Development of People, which partners with communities responding to their experiences of oppression, poverty, and injustice and educates Presbyterians about the impact of these issues

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, which works alongside communities as they recover and find hope after the devastation of natural or human-caused disasters and provides support for refugees

Chicago Lights Elam Davies Social Service Center, which annually supports 1,800 individuals who are experiencing homelessness or who are in transition, helping them gain greater stability through case management, a food pantry, clothing assistance, referrals to other agencies, and outreach

Chicago Lights Tutoring, which encourages 400 students living in under-resourced neighborhoods to graduate from high school and pursue higher education and meaningful careers

Fourth Church Meals Ministry, which distributes bag lunches each week, Tuesday through Thursday, and serves a hot supper on both Sunday and Monday nights, providing more than 36,000 meals per year for guests who are homeless

Fourth Church Shower Ministry, which welcomes guests without access to bathing facilities to use the showers at Fourth Church, with nearly 1,000 showers taken per year

To make a “One Great Hour of Sharing” gift, you can use the envelopes in the pew racks, write “Lenten Offering” on the memo line of a check made payable to Fourth Presbyterian Church, or make a gift online.

Back to top

Ashes on the Way

In addition to our 12:10 and 7:30 p.m. Ash Wednesday worship services with Communion and the imposition of ashes, each Ash Wednesday we also offer “Ashes on the Way,” a time when pastors and members of the Fourth Church community are present in the Narthex and outside the Sanctuary between 7:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. for the imposition of ashes.

During that time they impose ashes for those who are unable to be with us for worship but who find the ashes a meaningful way to mark the beginning of this season of repentance and reflection.

David Handley, a member of the Fourth Church community who imposed ashes as part of this public ministry, shared this 2019 reflection on “Ashes on the Way.”

Back to top


Palm/Passion Sunday

One of Fourth Church’s most beloved traditions takes place during 9:30 and 11:00 worship on this Sunday: the Palm/Passion Sunday processional of children entering the Sanctuary waving palms.

As we begin our Holy Week journey on this holy day, we hope you will join us in singing “hosanna, loud hosannas”!

Back to top


Holy Week
Maundy Thursday

Our journey to Easter Sunday continues on Maundy Thursday, with worship services at 12:10 and 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

Maundy Thursday receives its name from the Latin mandatum novum do vobis, “A new commandment I give you.” This new commandment, given by Jesus on the night he washed the disciples’ feet, was “to love one another just as I have loved you.” It is his example of—and our call to—love and service that we remember on Maundy Thursday.

During noonday worship, those who are interested have opportunity to come forward to have their feet or hands washed. This is a gesture of humility and courage as we receive the hospitality and service of another. It is also a way to enter into Jesus’ commandment that we love one another as he has loved us.

The evening service follows the ancient Office of Tenebrae (from the Latin for “shadows”). The service portrays the progression from light to darkness in the passion of Jesus, beginning with his abandonment on Thursday and concluding with his crucifixion. The service ends with the Sanctuary in complete darkness.

Back to top

Good Friday: April 19

12:10 p.m. | Good Friday Service

5:30 p.m. | Children’s Program
Buchanan Chapel

7:30 p.m. | Choral Service

On this most solemn day of the church year, we gather for two Good Friday worship opportunities: a noonday service at 12:10 p.m. and an evening choral service at 7:30 p.m., both in the Sanctuary.

A Good Friday program specially designed for children takes place at 5:30 p.m. in Buchanan Chapel. Children and their families will have the opportunity to attend a short worship service and then explore a variety of stations with activities, crafts, and readings loosely modeled after the Stations of the Cross.

Back to top

Holy Saturday

8:00 p.m. | Easter Vigil
Beginning in the Michigan Avenue Courtyard

The deeply moving Easter Vigil begins at 8:00 p.m. on Holy Saturday. This special service, an ancient tradition of the church, invites us into the story of salvation as we mark the conclusion of Lent and the dawning of Easter.

This experiential celebration of the new life we are given in Christ fully engages our hearts, minds, and bodies.

We begin by kindling a fire in the Michigan Avenue courtyard and processing by candlelight into the darkened Sanctuary. As Easter draws near and the light of the Sanctuary increases, we hear readings from scripture that cover the entire story of salvation, from creation through redemption, and join together in sacred song. The evening culminates in a reaffirmation of our baptismal vows and the celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

Back to top

Easter Flowers

Thank you to all who contributed to this year’s Easter flowers!

Our deadline for submitting names for inclusion in the 2019 Easter bulletin has passed, but we invite you to honor your loved ones with gifts toward the garlands and flowers that will decorate the Sanctuary during Advent and Christmas. The names of those honored will appear in the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day bulletins.

Details about making gifts toward Christmas flowers will be available in November.

Back to top