Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thursday Notes and Holy Week Schedule

Dear Good Shepherd,

Well, as you can tell the Thursday notes are late today...I am packed out with stuff to do so I'll have to be as brief as possible.

Men's Breakfast and Bible Study: Joe Barham is cooking. We're in chapter 2 of 1st Samuel. The study begins at 6:30am every Friday morning.

Systematic Theology: It looks like there is a lot of interest in a Saturday afternoon theology course beginning sometime after Easter. You'll be hearing more about it.

Women's Bible Study will meet on Saturday at 10:00am

Baptism: Don't forget, Matthias Boeker will be baptized on Palm Sunday.

Many have been asking for the Holy Week schedule, so here it is:

Palm Sunday (Sunday April 5th)

Palm Sunday is the first worship Service of Holy Week and it is one of the most important celebrations of the whole year. Holy Week is the week believers remember and celebrate the last week of Jesus’ life. That week began with Jesus’ triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem. By this time, Jesus was famous. Everyone knew him and most people believed that he was the messiah, the coming savior of Israel. So when they heard he was coming they all rushed out waving palm branches and crying “Hosanna in Highest! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” Five days later the very same people who greeted Jesus with shouts of “Hosanna” screamed for his death with cries of “Crucify Him!” Palm Sunday Services at Good Shepherd will be held at 8:00am and 10:30am as usual. They will begin with the blessing of the Palms. Then the blessed palms will be passed out to everyone in the congregation and we’ll process into the church like Jesus’ processed into Jerusalem (except for the donkey). During the service The Passion will be read and narrated.

Tenebrae (Wednesday April 8th)
Tenebrae means “shadows” in Latin. The worship service called “Tenebrae” is an ancient rite of the Church. It is a service of word, light and sound. When you arrive for worship you will see two groups of candles lit on the altar. As readings are read the candles on the altar will be gradually extinguished until the very end of the service when the last candle left lit is removed from the worship space and the whole sanctuary is left in darkness. At that point a loud crash will shatter the silence of the sanctuary. Then, after a moment, the last candle is returned to the sanctuary and the worshippers depart in silence. The gradual darkening of the sanctuary and the crashing noise symbolizes the apparent victory of death, darkness, and chaos over Jesus Christ on the cross. The final candle being removed and returned, symbolizes the truth that through Jesus' death, God gained victory over all the powers of evil. The Light was not overcome.
The service of Tenebrae will be held at 7:00pm on Wednesday of Holy Week.

Maundy Thursday (April 9th)
Maundy Thursday communion celebrates the humility of Jesus. Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lord’s and yet on the night before he died, during the Last Supper, he knelt down and one by one washed his disciples' feet. He did this to show his disciples and to show you and me how to serve one another with humility and love, being willing even to stoop to the most menial tasks.
There will be a covered dish (pot-luck) supper in the parish hall followed by the Maundy Thursday worship service which will include foot washing. Maundy Thursday is the last chance for communion until the Great Vigil. The service will begin at 7:00pm following the covered dish dinner that begins at 5:30pm

Good Friday: The Passion (April 10th)
Jesus died on a Friday. At about 3pm on Friday of Holy Week he lifted his eyes up to heaven from the cross and breathed out his last. “It is finished” he said. He was not only referring to his life, but he was also referring to the great battle between God and sin, death, and Satan. On the cross of Jesus Christ, God defeated the powers that corrupt and destroy his creation and his creatures. By and through Jesus’ death on the cross, everyone who believes is forgiven their sins and granted an eternal relationship with God. Good Friday Services will be held at noon (the Hours) and at 7:00pm. The 7:00pm service will include the Stations of the Cross, when we walk through and participate spiritually in the Passion of Christ Jesus.

The Easter Vigil (Saturday April 11th)
Along with Tenebrae, the Easter Vigil is one of the most ancient services of the Church. It is the most important service of the entire year and it is the first service of Easter. The service begins in total darkness--the lights of the sanctuary are out and not a candle is burning. Then a fire is lit in a firepot the center of the nave and from that flame all the candles in the sanctuary are lit and the hand-candles in the congregation. Then come readings and psalms, said and sung, by singers and by the whole congregation. The sermon follows and then the first Communion of Easter. The Great Vigil begins at 8:00pm in the sanctuary.

Easter Day: (Sunday April 12th)
This is the day Christians celebrate and proclaim the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. There will be flowers and smells and bells. And, possibly, an Easter Egg hunt afterwards. Service times are 8:00am and 10:30am Easter Morning.

Then Anne and I will go home and sleep for a week.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You should add "And all parishioners shall leave the clergy alone for a good rest. No calls, no visits." I will comply. C.....