Planning for Holy Week

160303_holyWeekHoly Week, which begins with Palm Sunday, March 20th, and continues with Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the Great Vigil of Easter, and concludes with Easter Sunday services, is the most sacred and wonderful week of the year for Christians. This year we will strive to observe these events in ways that are authentic to who we are as a congregation. We have become the church that feeds people, so expect to see a lot of food in our celebrations this year.

Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday
Palm Sunday includes both the celebration of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (the procession of the Palms) and the reading of the passion. This year we will honor both, giving full weight to the “Palm Sunday” theme with a full service built around the triumphal entry. Then, just as events took a dark turn for Jesus, we will make that dark turn by reading the Passion narrative, setting us up for Holy Week.

Maundy Thursday
On Maundy Thursday we will offer a special meal known as an Agape Feast. This will be a meal much like what Jesus shared with the disciples at the Last Supper when Jesus gave us the ritual of the Eucharist. On Maundy Thursday we will have a delicious meal that includes the breaking of the bread and the sharing of a ritual cup of wine. Just as the Last Supper led to Jesus’ arrest in the garden, our Maundy Thursday celebration will end with the story of Jesus’ arrest and the ritual stripping of the altar.

Good Friday
The moment when Jesus cries out in despair, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”, is central to our own access to resurrection life. The Good Friday service beautifully takes us to that place we all share with Jesus where our struggles and suffering become our gateway to resurrection as we embrace life together.

Great Vigil of Easter
The Great Vigil, or Easter Vigil, is a beautiful service that begins with the kindling of the new flame. We light a fire to represent the resurrection life of Jesus, and we listen to the great stories of salvation history by candle light as we enter into our shared story and experience of resurrection. This year we will try something new. In celebration of our meals ministries, we are going to hold the vigil service at sunrise on Easter morning and follow it up with breakfast. The Vigil will start with the new fire in the columbarium at 6:30AM. At 8:30 we will gather for a celebratory Easter breakfast.

Everyone is welcome at the breakfast, whether you come to the vigil or not. At 10:00AM we will hold our Easter Sunday celebration with special music, gorgeous flowers, and inspiring worship.

Make Your Plans Now
I encourage you to make your plans to attend these services now. Let us know if you can come to the Maundy Thursday dinner so we can set a place for you and your guests. Be sure to invite your friends, family and neighbors to all the events of Holy Week. Let’s make this Easter a beautiful gathering of love and life.

Yours in Christ,

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