March (Holy Week) Maddness

For most of us who work in the church Holy Week can be busy enough to drive you mad. Extra prep for Easter as well as additional services can shoot the stress levels through the roof. It can be maddening to keep up with everything, but by simplifying you can work smarter and not harder to pull off an awesome celebration of our awesome Lord’s resurrection.

Here’s how I’m keeping things simple to lower the stress and maintain the sane for Holy Week:

Ditch the Band: For our Thursday and Friday services this week I’m going acoustic. Thursday will be a solo show, and I’ll have some additional singers for Friday. It’s more work for me but it frees up the band to focus all their time and energy on perfecting the music for Easter rather than dividing their effort across multiple unique services.

Extra Rehearsals: Our team normally holds one rehearsal a week, but this week we are doing two. Again it’s a little more work for everyone involved but extra rehearsal time ensures that we can nail down difficult elements and go into the weekend services feeling confident and stress-free about our leading.

Leverage your team: I schedule the same singers for Good Friday and Easter. We have enough singers that I could’ve put separate vocalists on each service – but more teams equals more separate scheduled rehearsals. Rather than having two rehearsals for two teams we’re doing two rehearsals for one team. It’s fewer people to coordinate and communicate with throughout the week and the end result should be less confusion and a tighter sound.

Leverage your music: We’ll be singing “Were you there” on both Good Friday and Easter. Not only does it fit thematically with the mood and flow we are trying to accomplish for each service (It’ll close Good Friday and open Easter) but it means that time the singers spend practicing this piece gets to pay off double with two opportunities to lead the same song.

Do less music: A standard week around here includes 6 songs. Because I’ll be opening Easter acoustically with 2 songs this leaves 4 songs for the band to learn. 4 songs means more time focused on each song.

Any thoughts? How do you maintain your sanity during Holy Week?

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9 Responses to “March (Holy Week) Maddness”


  1. 1 Sarah Chia March 18, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    I’m bummed to miss it. I love “Were you There.” Seriously, I have many fond memories of that song and I was gonna tell you that I thought you should use it, but I didn’t want to sound pushy. LOL

  2. 2 worshipcity March 19, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Maintain sanity! HA, so that’s my problem.
    Actually, I’m ditching the band as well at our Maundy Thursday service. However we’re doing Tim Hughes’ Happy Day (new tune), a version of Wonderful Cross by Robbie Seay (new arrangement), and actually doing more songs than usual (like singing Third Day’s Creed instead of saying one)all on Easter to create some incredible madness 🙂

    One thing that I did differently was start planning and talking with the band about it though 3 weeks ago. We’ll still only have one rehearsal (tonight) but everyone should be prepared…I hope!

  3. 3 worshipcity March 19, 2008 at 8:55 am

    Oh! And a Coldplayishly shuffle sounding Christ the Lord is Risen today (new tune and new arrangement!) Tell me more about this thing you call sanity 🙂

  4. 4 Billy Chia March 19, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Conner,
    haha – yeah “sanity” is relative. That rocks you are doing CTLIRT. I was trying pretty hard to fit that one it but it was just too hymny for guitar. I’d be interested to see what you guys came up with.

  5. 5 Sarah Chia March 19, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Third Day’s Creed????? You mean Rich Mullins’ Creed!!! The one that Third Day ripped off and now gets credit for. (See, Billy…I knew that would happen. What’d I tell you?)

  6. 6 Giant March 19, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Aww come on Billy, you know it’s impossible to keep your sanity at Easter. It would take a real miracle.

  7. 7 worshipcity March 19, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    Yes Sarah it is RIch Mullins’ Creed, and yes I did give credit to Third Day. I never would have heard it unless they had revamped it and thrown it on Offerings. We do it their arrangement so I quote them, however you are totally correct, it is Rich Mullins song; I should probably more accurately give him credit as well 🙂

  8. 8 Eric G. Morgan March 20, 2008 at 10:04 am

    I know what you mean about “Madness”. It is Thursday and I still have video to shoot and edit before Sunday. Way too much to do!!!

  9. 9 Billy Chia March 20, 2008 at 11:51 am

    Eric,
    wow shoot and edit! I do not envy you man.

    It’s Thursday and I’m actually feeling pretty on top of things.

    Translation: I’m still WAY behind on stuff I need to do, just not as far behind as I though it’d be!


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