Easter 2024

31 March 2018
'Twas the night before Christmas…er, Easter: a church website rant

UPDATE 16 April 2018: this article has been altered to remove names of specific congregations, links to their websites, and screenshots of those websites. I have done this for several reasons and I will explain my why in a separate forthcoming article.

Forgive me for being confused. Here in Missouri, there's snow in the forecast for much of the state.

But there's a different kind of confusion about Easter that I want to address: that of Easter service times on church websites.

There's probably no other day of the year when churches work so hard (Christmas being a close second). Rectors, altar guilds, sextons, choirs, organists (ahem!), flower guilds, volunteers who spruce up the grounds and the interior, the list goes on.

And there's no other day that people are looking for church service times more desperately than they are on the night before Easter.

There has been much advice and conversation about this online lately. And I thought it was high time that I weigh in as well.

So, here's what I'm really talking about here: having the Easter service times immediately visible on the homepage of the website on the night before Easter without clicking a single link.

I'm not talking about having the service times available somewhere else on the website (under a "Worship" page or, even worse, a "Calendar" page). Easter is too big a deal for that. It needs to be listed on the front page.

I'm not talking about a "worship every Sunday" at such and such a time. Even if the services on Easter Sunday are at the same time they were last week, the front page of your website needs to make this explicit.

Any seed of doubt in a website visitor's mind on Easter Eve is too much. Bottom line: the front page of your church's website needs to be absolutely crystal clear about Easter service times.

Let's use the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri as a case study. I visited every church website in the diocese (list) between 4:30 and 5:00 p.m. on Holy Saturday (the day before Easter).

Of the 42 churches in the diocese:

A few observations:

One of these churches listed "Sunday, April 1" and the worship time, but made no mention of Easter.

Another church (it happens to be rather familiar to me), had obviously incomplete listings of Easter Day services on the homepage.

One church had Easter service times on a slide in a homepage slideshow, but not the first slide. I had already scrolled past it before the service times came up. I found it later.

Some churches just left me with questions. For example, is [redacted] really doing Morning Prayer on Easter?

[Redacted] did actually meet the criteria of having the info immediately visible on the front page, but I have to say at first glance I looked right past it. It is in a very small font on the upper left-hand corner of the site.

[Image removed]

[Image removed]

One of the most distressing things I saw was [redacted] where there were conflicting service times. First, I saw a "regular" Sunday service time listing, and then, farther down the page, I saw a special Easter service time listing. The Easter Day service times are not visible without scrolling down (in most cases). I think one of the worst experiences a visitor could have would be seeing Sunday service time information on your website, but still arriving at the wrong time for Easter. This must be avoided at all costs.

[Image removed]

[Image removed]

[Image removed]

One website helpfully had a monthly calendar on display, but today is March 31, and Easter is next month. So they didn't make the cut either.

But by far the worst example I saw was [redacted]. I remain unclear if this is an Episcopal congregation or a winery.

What conclusions can we draw from this? In this diocese, fewer than a third of churches are following what I and many others consider to be a best practice for church websites in the time leading up to Easter.

We can and must do better.

In a lot of cases the problem could be solved by creating an article or event with a headline such as "Easter services: 8:00 and 10:30 a.m.", and then filling out whatever details are needed within the article itself. I think this is so much more preferable to "Easter Services" and then a "details" button, or the dreaded "click here".

You might think I'm overblowing this (though probably not if you've read to the end of this article), but consider for a moment how carefully we prepare Holy Week service bulletins and other materials. Can church staffs really not take the five minutes required to get this right?

Labels: , ,

24 March 2018
Songs in the Desert, week 5

Songs in the Desert ( is a collaborative conversation about Christian hymns which comes out every weekday in Lent.

Each episode is around five minutes and comes from a different contributor.

This was the final week of the project for this year, and I am so deeply grateful to everyone who submitted episodes and who listened to the podcast.

This week, we heard episodes on

If you would, please take two minutes to complete our Songs in the Desert listener survey. We'd love to know what you've thought of this project.

Many have asked what's next for Songs in the Desert. Based on the positive response and strong interest in our Lent 2018 podcast, we are definitely planning to return next Lent. But we're open to other ideas (and assistance!) too! Get in touch via the survey, or just email David Sinden at

Labels: , ,

17 March 2018
Songs in the Desert, week 4

Songs in the Desert ( is a collaborative conversation about Christian hymns which comes out every weekday in Lent.

A friend recently commented on an episode this week "This is the first one of these I listened to. Are they all this good?" The answer, of course, is yes!

Each episode is around five minutes and comes from a different contributor. As we get further into Lent, I have more appreciation for the variety of voices and perspectives in this project.

This week, we heard episodes on

Labels: ,

10 March 2018
Songs in the Desert, week 3

Songs in the Desert ( is a collaborative conversation about Christian hymns which comes out every weekday in Lent.

Each episode is around five minutes and comes from a different contributor.

This week, we heard episodes for

Labels: ,

03 March 2018
Songs in the Desert, week 2

Songs in the Desert ( is a collaborative conversation about Christian hymns which comes out every weekday in Lent.

Each episode is around five minutes and comes from a different contributor.

This week, we heard episodes for

Labels: ,


©MMXVII a site for fun and prophet

Organ and church music, esoteric liturgics, and a site that changes color with the liturgical year.


Looking for Carol Spreadsheets?

Hungry? Try the Liturgical Guide to Altoids Consumption

Thirsty? Try the Tibia Liquida

The Eric Harding Thiman Fan Page: The greatest composer you've never even heard of.

Infrequently Asked Questions

picture of a chicken

Questions? Problems? email the sexton.


The author of this website is an organist whom the New York Times calls “repeatedly, insisting that he pay for his subscription”. He likes to read parking meters, music, Indianapolis Monthly, and weather forecasts in Celsius, particularly whilst wearing cassock and surplice. He serves lasagna, overhand, as an example to many, and on ecclesiastical juries. He mixes salads, drinks, and metaphors. He takes photos, lots of dinner mints, and a little bit of time to get to know.




Anglicans Online
Alex Ross: The Rest is Noise
Book of Common Prayer
Brain Pickings
The Daily Office
The Lectionary Page
Sed Angli
Ship of Fools
The Sub-Dean's Stall
Vested Interest - Trinity Church in the City of Boston


Andrew Kotylo - Concert Organist
Anne Timberlake
Bonnie Whiting, percussion
conjectural navel gazing: jesus in lint form
Friday Night Organ Pump
Halbert Gober Organs, Inc.
in time of daffodils
Joby Bell, organist
Musical Perceptions
Musings of a Synesthete
My Life as Style, Condition, Commodity.
Nathan Medley, Countertenor
Notes on Music & Liturgy
The Parker Quartet
Roof Crashers & Hem Grabbers
Steven Rickards
That Which We Have Heard & Known
This Side of Lost
Wayward Sisters
Zachary Wadsworth | composer

Archenemies Aviary



Advent (Medfield MA)
All Saints, Ashmont (Boston MA)
All Saints (Indianapolis IN)
Atonement (Bronx NY)
Broadway UMC (Indianapolis IN)
Cathedral of All Saints (Albany NY)
Christ Church (Bronxville NY)
Christ Church (Madison IN)
Christ Church (New Haven CT)
Christ Church Cathedral (Indianapolis IN)
Christ's Church (Rye NY)
Church of St. Stephen (Hamden CT)
Congregational (Belmont CA)
Coventry Cathedral (UK)
First UMC (Lancaster SC)
Gloria Dei ELCA (Iowa City IA)
Immanuel Lutheran (St Paul MN)
Immanuel Lutheran (Webster NY)
John Knox PCUSA (Houston TX)
St Andrew (Marblehead MA)
St Andrew's, Oregon Hill (Richmond VA)
St Bartholomew the Great, (London, England)
St James's (Lake Delaware NY)
St James's (Richmond VA)
St James Cathedral (Chicago IL)
St Mary's Cathedral (Memphis TN)
St Matthew and St Timothy (NYC)
St Paul's (Cleveland Heights OH)
St Paul's (Indianapolis IN)
St Paul's Cathedral (Buffalo NY)
St Paul's, K Street (Washington DC)
St Peter's (Lakewood OH)
St Peter's ELCA (NYC)
St Stephen's (Richmond VA
St Thomas (New Haven CT)
St Thomas ELCA (Bloomington IN)
Second PCUSA (Indianapolis IN)
Towson Presbyterian Church (MD)
Tremont Temple Baptist (Boston MA)
Trinity (Indianapolis IN)
Trinity on the Green (New Haven CT)


BBC Radio 3 Choral Evensong
New College (Oxford, England)
St John's College (Cambridge, England)
St Thomas (New York NY)


Like the site? Buy the shirt.

Areyou . . .

selling diphthongs?
Yes, but they're not the kind you buy on Wheel of Fortune.

the owner of a bower at Bucklesfordberry?
Full daintily it is dight.

interested in touch lamps?
And fountain pens.

this site used to be better:

March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
December 2012
January 2013
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
November 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
April 2014
May 2014
June 2014
August 2014
September 2014
October 2014
November 2014
December 2014
January 2015
February 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
September 2015
October 2015
November 2015
December 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
June 2016
July 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
November 2016
December 2016
January 2017
February 2017
March 2017
April 2017
May 2017
June 2017
July 2017
August 2017
September 2017
October 2017
November 2017
December 2017
January 2018
February 2018
March 2018
April 2018
May 2018
June 2018
August 2018
September 2018
October 2018
December 2018
February 2019
March 2019
October 2019
December 2019
September 2020
December 2020
January 2021
September 2021
October 2021
December 2021
November 2022
December 2022
March 2023
July 2023
March 2024
April 2024