Pastor Don Gray
Holy Week and Easter
Disciples of Christ,
Holy Week is most definitely a very sacred time of the year, for it is now that we will commemorate and remember the last week of Jesus' life on this earth. These are the days leading up to the great Easter Feast. The Lenten season of sacrifice and self-denial is about to come to an end as we await Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter.
Historical documents tell us that as early as the fourth century the Church celebrated this "Great Week" with a feeling of profound sanctity. It begins with Palm Sunday, which marks Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The central feature of the service to this day, as it was in the earliest times, is the procession of palms and the dramatic reading of the Passion.
Especially important for us Lutherans is the Easter Triduum. This is the three days just before Easter. On Maundy Thursday, we re-enact the Lord's Last Supper, which He shared with His apostles on the night He was betrayed and arrested. This is one of the most beautiful liturgies of the entire liturgical year. At times we will wash feet just as Jesus did. Also on this night, we will read Psalm 22 as we strip the Altar, representing Jesus being stripped of His power and glory.
On Good Friday, the day of the crucifixion and death of our Lord, we will have a Tenebrae service. The Tenebrae is an ancient Christian Good Friday service that makes use of gradually diminishing light to symbolize the events of that week from the triumphant Palm Sunday entry through Jesus' burial. To close the service we sing “Were You There” which is both beautiful and powerful.
On Easter Sunday, we celebrate Christ’s glorious resurrection. The Triduum is at the heart of the Easter season and it is an intense immersion in the fundamental mystery of what it is to be Christian. During these days, we suffer with Christ so that we might rise with Him at His glorious Resurrection.
Holy Week is a time to clear our schedules of unnecessary activities. I pray you will come and join us as we focus our hearts and minds on Jesus. These three days are truly life changing. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services are at 6:15pm and we celebrate Easter at 9am and11am.