It is my annual exhortation. I say it every year and have said it every year for thirty-five years. So, if you don’t mind, humor me as I say it again. If we come to church on Palm/Passion Sunday and return on Easter Sunday, skipping the services of the Triduum (the three days) on Thursday and Friday, then we have an incomplete gospel and a partial story. We bask in the sunshine of a Sunday parade and we celebrate in the sunrise of an empty tomb. Yet, we will miss the darkness that intervenes and the truth of how we got from one place to the other. The journey is critical to the destination.
With that said (and I feel better for having said it, so thank you), let me invite you to make attendance at our Holy Week services a priority. Each service is designed to lead us to the next (beginning Thursday night, for example, there will be no benediction or dismissal until Easter Sunday – the service will not end; it will merely be recessed until the next day when we will pick it back up). Each service builds on the one before. To miss one is to miss something critical and important to the outcome.
Our services are:
Palm/Passion Sunday, April 13 – worship at 8:25 (Sanctuary), 9:45 (Sanctuary and 1st on Chatham), 11:05 (Sanctuary) and 11:11 (Celebration). This service will include the story of the triumphal entry, the children’s palm processional, a reading of Matthew’s account of the Passion woven together with Passion hymns, a meditation, and prayers.
Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday), April 17 – worship at 7:00 p.m. During this service, we will remember the institution of the Lord’s Supper and share in the meal. At the end of the service, we will strip the Sanctuary of all decoration until Easter Sunday.
Good Friday, April 18 – worship at 7:00 p.m. Our Chancel Choir, accompanied by orchestra, will present their annual cantata, “In My Place.” The service will include Tenebrae (or Darkness).
Easter Sunday Sunrise, 6:30 a.m. in the Templeton Courtyard. The resurrection will be welcomed and proclaimed. The service will be followed by an Easter breakfast in the Fellowship Hall.
Easter Sunday Worship – all five worshipping communities will gather at their regular times and in their regular places to celebrate the good news of Easter and Christ’s resurrection.
I look forward to seeing you next week at each service as together we get the whole story.
Grace and peace.