Lent

Lenten Devotionals

Available Sunday, March 3.

Lent for Families

Discover how you can share Lent with children.

Ash Wednesday Services

March 6 • 12:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., Chapel

Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent – a time of introspection and self-examination of our lives and relationship with God. The ritual of the ashes represents a visual reminder of the day as we pause to remember our physical limits in contrast to the infinity of God. Here at First UMC, we offer two Ash Wednesday services in the Chapel. The ashes used for the services come from the burned palms of last year’s Palm Sunday Service. We invite you to this intimate and reflective service that marks the beginning of the Lenten season.


Lenten Yoga Series

March 13 – April 10 • Wednesdays • 7 p.m., Simkins Hall*

In this coming season of spiritual dedication, the young adult group Open Space invites all to add the spiritual discipline of yoga to your Lenten practice. The Lenten Yoga series will incorporate gentle, restorative, and energizing physical movement (with modifications for all mobility and flexibility levels) along with guidance through scripture, connecting body, mind, and spirit to help us settle into this season with intention. All ages and all levels welcome. Donations accepted.

*March 13 & April 3 classes will be held in the Fireside Room.


Service of Lessons & Anthems

April 7 • 10 a.m. Sanctuary Worship Service

A beautiful and moving annual service of Lessons and Anthems. This is a solemn service, designed to prepare our hearts and minds for Holy Week. In word and music, we will remember the last days of Jesus’ life–his witness, his teaching, his faithfulness.

Lily Order for Easter

April 9 • Deadline for dedications

Lilies will once again adorn the sanctuary for Easter service. If you would like to donate toward the purchase of lilies in celebration of a loved one, an event, a joy, or a remembrance please contact the church office info@santamonicaumc.org or 310-393-8258. Cost per lily is $12. Click here to place an order.


Holy Week


Palm Sunday

April 14   10 a.m. Sanctuary Worship

First United Methodist Church and Preschool welcome you and your family to this annual spring celebration!  Come take part in the annual commemoration of Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem. This day celebrates the start of Holy Week and will feature a children’s palm procession. Following the service, all are welcome to the Family Brunch at no charge. Take a photo with the Easter Bunny, enjoy some craft activities and the annual Egg Hunt!

View photos from Palm Sunday 2018.


Maundy Thursday

April 18 • Evening Worship Service 7:30 p.m., Sanctuary

Communion, Word, Music & Silent Darkness – First UMC offers a traditional Maundy Thursday Service with Holy Communion and Tenebrae. Tenebrae is Latin for “shadows” and is characterized by the gradual extinguishing of candles to symbolize the events of Holy Week, from the triumphant Palm Sunday entry through Jesus’ burial. The Passion narrative is read and the service concludes in darkness. This meaningful service is open to all.


Good Friday

April 19

  • Prayer Vigil 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Chapel – Open all day to pray and “watch with Jesus.”
  • Community Mid-day Service 12 p.m., St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (958 Lincoln Blvd) Service based on the Stations of the Cross.
  • Good Friday Labyrinth Walk 1 – 9 p.m., Simkins Hall. The Labyrinth will be open for walks, every step a prayer.
  • Community Evening Service 7:30 p.m., St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (958 Lincoln Blvd) Service based on the Passion of St. John

Easter Vigil

April 20 • 7:30 p.m., Courtyard, Chapel

Join simple church as we observe the ancient tradition of the Easter Vigil, a service of light, word, and table where we remember God’s life-giving acts from the passage from slavery to freedom, from sin to salvation, from death into new life. The service will begin in the courtyard with a procession of light moving into our chapel.


Easter Sunday

April 21 

Easter Sunrise Service 6:30 a.m., Palisades Park (Santa Monica Blvd. & Ocean Ave.)

Coming to worship on Easter Sunday at an hour and place different than we normally do, offers a sense that something unexpected has happened. Where there appeared to be no hope, there is now hope. Where there was death, there is now resurrection!
Some will remember the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined” (Isaiah 9:2 NRSV). Sometimes the world around us can seem very dark, but in Christ we have a light of hope, the very presence of God in the midst of us.*
Beautiful scenery, worship, Holy Communion, hot coffee & fellowship. Bring blankets, chairs, & fresh flowers for the cross.

*Easter Sunrise Services: A Celebration of Resurrection originally published at UMC.org by Joe Lovino

Easter Celebration 10 a.m. Sanctuary Worship

Family Sunday with music of choir, brass & organ, Easter Lilies & Alleluias! Children remain in church; activity bags are provided. Each child will receive a small gift of a flower after the service.