The Ancient Practice: Holy Week

By the end of the third century it had become the practice of the faithful to observe with special intention the seven days before Easter. Over time, this observance became known as Holy Week.

The observance of Holy Week is a practice of Christian formation. In it, we enter into the mysteries of the Passion and Resurrection in prayer, practice, and worship.

Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, also known as the Sunday of the Passion (April 9). Worship begins with the remembrance of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. We’ll all have our own palm fronds, reminding us of how the people lauded his arrival shouting “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” And then together, we’ll sing one of the ancient hymns of the Church: “All Glory, Laud, and Honor.”

At the scripture readings, the tone of worship changes dramatically. We read the entire Passion of Jesus…the agony in the garden; the trial; and the final journey to the cross. It’s a long story, and we listen to the whole thing. After communion, worship finishes with the congregation singing “Were You There.” It is our custom this day to depart worship in silence.

We observe Maundy Thursday on Thursday, April 13.  We’ll gather for worship at 7:00 PM at the home of Ellen & Richard Pace, 108 Highlander Street in Lakeway. The word “Maundy” comes from the Latin word “mandate,” meaning “commandment.” On Maundy Thursday we commemorate the Last Supper. At that meal with his friends, Jesus issued two commandments: First, that when we are together we share the sacred meal and “do this” in remembrance of him (I Corinthians 11:23-26). And secondly, that we love one another as he loves us (John 15:12).

The service this evening is very simple. We will share in the Lord’s Supper. As well, during this worship service we invite everyone to participate in the practice of foot-washing. All are invited to participate in foot-washing. None are required to do so. Children are encouraged and welcome to be present for this time of worship.

On Good Friday, Jesus went to the cross. On this day we do not celebrate Holy Communion. We’ll offer morning prayers at 9:00 AM, the hour in which Jesus went to the cross, at the Lola Savannah Coffee Lounge on 620 in Lakeway. Instead, we offer morning prayers at the hour in which Jesus went to the cross. In the evening we’ll gather to pray deeply for the world. At both prayer times we’ll hear the Passion as told in the Gospel According to John. Our evening gathering is at the home of Bernadette & Paul Johnson 17706 Linkview Drive in the Montabella Development off Hamilton Pool Road, located about a mile east of the Hamilton Pool Road/Route 12 intersection.

On Easter Day we celebrate the conclusion of our Lenten observance, and celebrate that Resurrection is real, the Lord is Risen, New Life has arrived, and nothing…ever…stops the love of God! Worship is at 10:00 AM at the Serene Hills Elementary School.

“…I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord!” -Romans 8:38-39

“But the angel said, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.  He is not here; for he has been raised…’” -Matthew 28:5-6