Holy Week – One Service, Three Parts

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“Christians have been commemorating the death and resurrection of Jesus since Apostolic times, because his death and resurrection are at the heart of Christian salvation.  At least by the second century, Christians celebrated the Great Easter Vigil, an event which began the night of Holy Saturday, continuing until dawn on Easter morning.  During this vigil, Christians commemorated salvation history, awaited the return of Jesus, and celebrated the resurrection of Jesus at dawn on Easter Sunday.  It was at the vigil that catechumens, after a three year period of catechesis, were baptized and received first communion.  The Easter Vigil was the most important day of the liturgical year.  Eventually Christians expanded this celebration to a three-day commemoration of Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrections, wit hthe Easter Vigil being the high point of the three day commemoration.”  -David Bennet, https://www.churchyear.net/triduum.html

SUMC will observe and celebrate the suffering, death, and resurrection in our third annual Paschal Triduum worship gatherings on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter morning.  Although they are three separate worship gatherings, they are all one continuous retelling of the story of Jesus in three parts:

1) Jesus’ last supper and institution of the great commandment of Holy Thursday
2) Jesus’ trial, execution and burial on Good Friday
3) Jesus’ resurrection from the dead on Holy Saturday/Easter

HOLY THURSDAY, April 18 at 7pm: A Service of Word, Washing and Table, we celebrate Jesus’ great commandment to love one another as he loves us.  As a sign of our mutual love, we will observe a cleansing ritual demonstrated by Jesus in John’s gospel involving washing one another’s hands or feet.  This is followed by sharing a candlelit Lord’s Supper at tables in the fellowship hall adjoining the sanctuary.

GOOD FRIDAY, April 19 at 7pm: A Service of the Way (or Stations) of the Cross, we will participate in a journey with Jesus from his travail in the Garden of Gethsemane to his burial.  Each of the fourteen stops will highlight a call to a different response by the worshiper.  The service is punctuated by silence and meditation.

EASTER VIGIL, April 20 at 7pm: A Service of Light, Word, Water and Table, begins in the fellowship hall with the lighting of the Paschal and individuals candles, symbolic of Christ’s resurrection from darkness to light, a retelling of the “Big Story” of scripture culminating in Christ’s resurrection, a reaffirmation of our baptism into the Risen Lord, and sharing the Lord’s Supper by intinction.

EASTER MORNING, April 21 at 8am and 10:30am: We will continue our celebration of the resurrection of Jesus in song and story.

This is a great time to bring family and friends along with you to worship our Risen Lord.  We hope you can join us.