Dear friends,

Sunday we will begin Holy Week, the most solemn week of the church year. It’s also the first time since 2019 that we are able to do these services in person and in the church, so it should be a special week as we remember the last week of Jesus’ life. Here is our schedule:

Sunday, April 10 — Palm Sunday. We will have our usual two services at 8:30 and 10:45. At the later service we will begin in the Beech Grove for the blessing of the palms and a procession into church. The service ends with the reading of the Passion, the story of Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion, then we leave church in silence. There is NO coffee hour and NO Sunday School this day. The Palm Sunday bulletin is attached.

Thursday, April 14, 7 p.m. — Maundy Thursday. At this service we remember the last night of Jesus’ earthly life, when he gives his followers a new commandment — to love one another. (The word Maundy comes from the Latin “mandatum,” meaning command.) At this service we emulate the two things that Jesus did with his disciples — the washing of their feet and their last supper together, in which Jesus instituted what we now call the Eucharist. The foot washing is optional. The service ends with the stripping of the altar area of all its adornments, leaving the church bare for Good Friday.

Friday, April 15, 7 p.m. — Good Friday. The most solemn service of the year in which we remember Jesus’ execution on the cross.

Saturday, April 16, 7 p.m. — Easter Vigil. This is the Church’s oldest liturgy.   We begin in the Memorial Garden at the foot of the cross, where we light and bless the Pascal, or Easter, candle. We then process into the church, passing through the tree of life sculpture. Once in the church we hear the stories of God’s history of salvation, from creation to the resurrection. After the Old Testament readings are finished we proclaim that Lent is over and Christ has risen! After the service we continue the celebration in the parish hall with a cake and champagne reception.

Sunday, April 17, Easter Sunday. We proclaim the resurrection at 8:30 and 10:45. Following the later service there will be an Easter egg hunt for the children.

Every year people tell me that attending the nightly Holy Week services enhances their Easter celebration. Please join us for as many of these services as you can.

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