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Palm/Passion Sunday (April 9)
The Great and Holy Week begins with the celebration of Jesus’ triumphal entry to Jerusalem accompanied by the waving of palm branches and shouts of Hosanna! Worship begins with the Liturgy of Palms during which everyone will join the procession with the palms. The tone of the service shifts to the contemplation of the Passion of Christ as recorded in the gospel of Mark. The passion narrative will be read by a variety of voices.
The Three Days – Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil – provides many wonderful worship opportunities for us to gather as a community and reflect on the passion of Christ. During the Three Days we hear the story of the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ as told in the gospel of John. These three worships can be seen as one continuous movement from the final night Jesus spent with his disciples, to the cross, to the burial and finally to the empty tomb!
Maundy Thursday (April 13 at 7:30 p.m.)
The Three Days begin as we gather to worship on Maundy Thursday. Beginning with an order of confession and forgiveness, a time is provided for all attending worship to come forward to receive individual absolution and the laying on of hands. It is also the night that we hear the words of Jesus’ new commandment (the Latin mandatum from which Maundy comes), to love one another. The altar is stripped at the end of the worship and the congregation leaves the sanctuary in silence.
Good Friday (April 14 at 12 noon and 7:30 p.m.)
Our noon worship will be a reflective service of readings and prayer. The passion recorded in John’s gospel will help us focus on the cross at the center of our worship.
Our 7:30 worship provides an opportunity to focus and reflect on the cross. The reading of the passion as recorded in John’s gospel is underscored by the singing of hymns that echo this great narrative. The darkness of the journey to the tomb becomes visually evident in the extinguishing of candles and the darkening of the sanctuary.
Easter Vigil (April 15 at 7:30 p.m.)
Guest preacher: The Rev. Arden Krych
This worship is one of the oldest traditions in Christian worship. Echoing the words from John’s gospel that tell us that the women returned to the tomb “while it was still dark,” we gather at dusk. Kindling a new fire, we enter the sanctuary to hear of God’s great acts of salvation throughout history. The gospel reading then pronounces the great news of Easter: Christ is risen! To which we respond with the first Alleluia’s of Easter!
Celebrate Christ’s triumph over the grave! Festival Services on Sunday, April 16, will be held at 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 a.m. There will be no Sunday School classes on Easter Day.