Holy Week runs from Palm Sunday (April 9, 2017) to the next Saturday (April 15). It is a somber time as we recall the events leading up to the death of Jesus.
Maundy Thursday commemorates several themes – the establishment of the Eucharist at the Last Supper; loving obedience to God expressed in Jesus’s turmoil in the Garden of Gethsemane; the centrality of the cross to our faith as it was to the events of the Passion; the new commandment given by Jesus “to love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34 – indeed, the term “Maundy” comes the latin word for “commandment”).
Good Friday is the most solemn day of the Christian year, as we recount the Passion Story – the story of the persecution, betrayal, trial, and death by crucifixion of Jesus. (The term “Passion” comes from the Hebrew word for “Passover”.) As if to emphasize the importance of this story, we recount it with a dramatic reading in which clergy and lay readers take on individual roles.
It can be tempting for people to skip over the sadness of Holy Week and just join in the celebration of Easter morning. Tempting, but not helpful.
Just as earth needs both sunshine and rain to bring forth life, Christians need to know both the sadness and despair of Holy Week as well as the joy and warmth of Easter, to fully appreciate the magnificence of what God, through Jesus, has done for them, and for God’s gifts to take root in their own lives.
Holy Week Services at SJYM
MAUNDY THURSDAY, APRIL 13
- 7:30 p.m. – An informal observation of The Last Supper followed by the Stripping of the Church to prepare for Good Friday.
GOOD FRIDAY, APRIL 14
- 10:00 a.m. – The Passion Story – the story of the final hours before Jesus’s crucifixion – told with music and dramatic reading. A Children’s program is offered at the same time.
Easter Services at SJYM
EASTER SUNDAY, APRIL 16
- 9:00 a.m. – The Sacred Table – a traditional service with Holy Communion to welcome the risen Christ.
- 10:30 a.m. – The Open Door – a joyful family service filled with music and praise celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. A special program is offered for the children.