According to the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus (544-483), no one ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and they are not the same person.
So what does that have to do with Holy Week? You may ask.
Each year we come to Holy Week — that stretch between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday that includes Maundy Thursday and Good Friday — as different people than we were at the same time the previous year.
This familiar story may feel like something we already know — and don’t really need to experience every single year in order to “get” the full impact of the Resurrection, so it can be tempting to skip ahead to the joy of Easter Sunday. That notion could be costing you an opportunity to see it all differently — especially this year.
After weathering this past year, the year in which almost everything we knew became different in some way, each of us is most likely coming to Holy Week from a very different place. This year, of all years, we encourage you to spend some time next week immersing yourself in the story anew — you just may be surprised at what you notice that you’ve never seen before.
Rev. Linda McDermott will be delivering our Maundy Thursday message this year. Maundy Thursday will be a service of communion, followed by a special time for individual reflection in the Garden.
The ancient practice of stripping the Lord’s table and sanctuary following communion is a vivid and dramatic way of showing the desolation and abandonment of the long night in Gethsemane and what followed. All cloths, candles, banners, the cross, and the Bible are taken out of the sanctuary and it remains bare until Easter morning.
There will be a special time for children during this service in which Mister Mark will explain the meaning of the Maundy Thursday in child-friendly terms, incorporating the elements of our Lent kits that speak to the experience of this important service.
At the end of the service we will invite you to spend a few moments in our beautiful church Garden for reflection and prayer. It will be a personal choice to stay and pray or to leave in silence and reflect upon the Lord’s Supper and all that is to come in the days ahead.
Good Friday is our traditional Tenebrae service of worship that offers both scripture and meditation, reflecting on Jesus’s last hours on earth. The format of this service of Tenebrae, or “Darkness,” is based on a twelfth-century late night/early morning service and is an extended meditation on the passion of Christ. It will be led by all of our clergy and beautiful music from Choral Union directed by Robert Stovall.
Good Friday is not meant to leave you feeling happy. It was a very heavy time. It is hard to imagine what Jesus must have gone through, but he knew what was coming. The celebration of Easter and the resurrection are the most joyous after you have experienced Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
There will be a special time for children during this service in which Mister Mark will explain the meaning of Good Friday in child-friendly terms, incorporating the elements of our Lent kits that speak to the experience of this important service.
Whether or not you’ve ever attended our Holy Week services that lead up to Easter, we encourage you to consider attending these services this year, either in person (with reservation) or online. Both Maundy Thursday and Good Friday observations are invitations to reflection and contemplation of the whole story of Jesus’ last week.
Walking the entire Holy Week journey with Jesus each year will find you in a different place with different thoughts and reflections that make each Easter Sunday celebration of Resurrection so much more meaningful in different ways each time you experience it.reserve seats for maundy thursday reserve seats for good friday