I hope you were able to join us this past Sunday for Palm Sunday. It was a beautiful and meaningful beginning to this year’s Holy Week. This year we went through Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem from the gospel of Luke. We began the service by exclaiming, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!” and then moved into the Luke narrative where we as a congregation set ourselves in the story and accused, questioned, and demanded answers from Jesus ending with “Crucify, crucify him!” It’s always very emotional yelling, even just saying, those last words.
But now we move into the last days and events of Jesus’ life. You might have heard me say before that we don’t just dance or run right into Easter. There are things that happened this week almost 2000 years ago. Important, world changing things, and before we can joyfully say our first “Alleluia” since before Ash Wednesday, we must walk these last steps with Jesus.
Today is Maundy Thursday. Maundy, meaning “mandate” or “commandment,” in reference to Jesus saying “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34). This commandment was given with Jesus washing his disciples feet, and instituting Holy Communion by eating his last meal with them. Part of our service will be a foot washing ceremony in which all are invited to participate. We will end the service by me stripping the altar of all of the elements in preparation for what is to come tomorrow, and everyone will leave in contemplative silence.
Tomorrow is Good Friday where we’ll remember the events leading up to and including Christ’s death on the cross. We’ll walk with him as he carries his cross, stumbles, and reaches the place where he is to die. This is another chance for you to set yourself in the story of this week as you are invited to help carry the cross from one station to another. There will be instructions in the bulletin tomorrow.
On Saturday is our Easter Vigil. This service is especially powerful as it comes at the end of Holy Saturday where we are left to wonder with Jesus’ disciples what is to come next as he is still silent in the grave. At the vigil we will remember all of salvation history from Genesis into the New Testament.
If all of that seems like a lot, it’s because it is! As Anglicans, this is our mindful preparation to celebrate the one who defeated death! On Easter the service will be full of joy and Alleluias. I hope that you can come to at least one if not all of these services the next few days. I promise you will notice a difference on Sunday morning!
- Maundy Thursday, 7-8:30 pm (childcare for infant-kinder)
- Good Friday, 12-2:30 pm (childcare for infant-kinder)
- Easter Vigil, 8-10 pm (no childcare)
- Easter Sunday, 9 & 11 am