Soon, we enter into the holiest of times in preparation for the glorious resurrection of our Savior. It is a time of great importance, bringing us close to the path Jesus walked, The Way, from his entry into Jerusalem, to his meal with the disciples, to his interrogation in front of the Jewish court, the Sanhedrin, to his walk up Golgotha, to the empty tomb, and finally, to his resurrection. The point of Holy Week is to allow Christians to fully experience these pivotal moments of Jesus’ life. In order to do so, each event is important. Make a commitment to engage in each one.
In order to place more emphasis on Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, we are modifying this service some. Unlike past years, we will not be showing a slideshow during the Passion, and we will be moving the reading of the Passion, a shorter version, to the end of the service. This allows us to spend more time celebrating Jesus’ arrival. It also allows us to more fully experience the Passion on Good Friday.
A pivotal moment in Jesus’ life was when he gathered his disciples together to break bread and demonstrate to them the self-sacrificing love of his life. On Maundy Thursday, we gather for a similar meal and ritual. Here, we are reminded of each person’s call to serve others. With Holy Communion and stripping the altar bare, the centrality of Jesus Christ in our own lives is brought to mind, preparing us to fully experience the new life manifested in the Resurrection.
The evening one will incorporate Taize and the Veneration of the Cross. This day is called the Trehora, the Latin word for three hours, referring to the time in which Jesus was hanged upon the cross leading to his death. It is on this day that we reflect upon the events of the Passion of our Savior, the love of God they express, and the aspects of our lives in discord with Jesus’ Law of Love.
To accommodate schedules, we have arranged for two Good Friday services, one in the afternoon at 12:00, and a second in the evening at 7:00. The afternoon service will follow the traditional service found in the Book of Common Prayer and will be followed by the opportunity to walk the Stations of the Cross and engage in the Veneration of the Cross.
The Vigil is the primary service of the Christian faith, with the glorious transformation of darkness to light, of death into life. The stories of salvation are told, reminding us that God brings us out of bondage into freedom. Two baptisms will take place, and as One Body, we will recommit our lives to Christ through our baptismal vows, and Easter, the Risen Christ, will be proclaimed.
We will gather together to welcome friends into our sanctuary, to celebrate the Resurrected Christ, and to proclaim the ultimate message of the Resurrection, that all that is cast down is raised up, that all that is broken is redeemed, that all that has died will live again.
See you on The Way!