Holy Week 2017

HOLY WEEK HAPPENINGS

Holy Week begins with our Palm Sunday Celebration on April 9th. Special Worship Services during the week include:

Quiet Meal (April 12)

Sponsored by the United Methodist Women, this special service occurs on Wednesday evening in a worshipful manner that includes using an Upper Room setting where scripture is read remembering Jesus’ actions on the way to the cross.

Maundy Thursday Worship and Communion (April 13)

Maundy Thursday is the traditional name given to the day we remember Jesus sharing His last meal with His disciples in the Upper Room. Our church will gather for worship at 7:30pm. The service will feature our District Superintendent, Rev. Paul Taylor, bringing the message and Holy Communion.

Good Friday Worship (April 14)

Good Friday is the day we remember Jesus dying on the cross. In the evening, at 7:30pm, our church will be having a Tenebrae Service in our church sanctuary.

Easter Egg Hunt and Breakfast (April 15)

Saturday morning beginning at 8:30am, with the Egg Hunt at 10:00am. Proceeds from breakfast go to the youth ministry.

Easter Sunrise Worship Service (April 16)

On Easter Sunday, our church will host a Community Sunrise Service at 6:30am. Weather permitting, the service will be held outside at the Trinity Tower Pavilion. If the weather is questionable, service will move indoors. The service will feature singing Easter favorites and a play.

Easter Worship (April 16)

On Easter, we will have two worship times. Our New Life Service will be at 9:00am, featuring our Praise Team. Our celebration service will be at 10:30am, with traditional worship and Chancel Choir.

Holy Week is the final week of Lent, from Palm Sunday (April 9th) through Holy Saturday (April 15th). During Holy Week, Christians re-live the events of Jesus’ last week on earth; his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, cleansing the Temple, teaching, dealing with challenges of Pharisees and Sadducees, his Last Supper with the disciples, prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, betrayal, trial, crucifixion, death and burial. In the earliest centuries the events of Holy Week were celebrated in a single service; a vigil that began on Saturday night and continued until Easter dawn. It celebrated with joy the history of Christ’s saving work and was a time to baptize converts and to greet the first moments of Easter Day.

On Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, worship services celebrate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem amidst the joyful welcome of his followers, but they also deal with the story of his passion and death. Each worshiper may be given a small cross made of palm leaves to wear.

The Great Three Days, sunset on Holy Thursday through sunset on Easter Day, are the climax of Lent and of the Christian Year. These days proclaim the paschal mystery, the saving events of Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services may be connected by a prayer vigil that lasts through Holy Saturday (when Jesus lay in the tomb) until the first service of Easter.

Christians commemorate Jesus’ Last Supper when he broke bread and gave the cup to his disciples, initiating the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. John’s Gospel tells of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet and giving a new commandment. Our Holy Thursday worship includes Holy Communion and sometimes foot washing as well. The word Maundy comes from the Latin, mandatum, or commandment. At the Last Supper Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” (John 13:34)

In Old English usage good meant “of God.” Good Friday is God’s Friday. Therefore, Jesus’ death shows God’s salvation. On this day many churches have services focusing on Jesus’ words from the cross:

  • “Father, forgive them.”
  • “Today you will be with me in paradise.”
  • “Woman, behold your son.”
  • “My God, why have you forsaken me?”
  • “I thirst”
  • “It is finished”
  • “Into your hands, I commend my spirit.”

Following Communion on Holy Thursday or on Good Friday evening, a service of Tenebrae or “Darkness” recalls Jesus’ sufferings as candles are extinguished one by one leaving darkness.

The Easter Season, also known as the Great Fifty Days, begins at sunset on Easter Eve and continues through the Day of Pentecost. Like the women who came to the tomb at dawn, many churches have sunrise services as the first service of Easter. The sunrise is a symbol of Jesus’ resurrection. According to one source, the word Easter came from Eastre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess whose holiday was on the spring equinox. At this season we celebrate with joy Christ’s resurrection and ascension and the giving of the Holy Spirit on the first Easter (John 20:22-23) and on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). White and gold are joyous and festive colors to use at Easter and throughout the Easter season on cloths for altar, pulpit and lectern and on stoles and banners.

May we greet each other on Easter Day by saying: “He is risen!” “He is risen indeed!”