West Chelmsford United Methodist Church
Monday, April 21, 2014
It comes around every year. Holy Week and Easter are the essential and distinctive celebrations of the Christian faith, and for that reason we celebrate them every year. But with that annual repetition of the age-old story of Jesus’ death and resurrection comes a sameness. Because we repeat it every year, by definition it gets repetitious. But this year I want to encourage you to experience something new during Holy Week. Our Holy Thursday and Good Friday services will be different and exciting.
Holy Thursday remembers the events of the night Jesus was betrayed and arrested. Jesus and his disciples had gathered for the Passover Meal; it was around the Passover table that many of the events of that night took place.
With that in mind we will have a kind of Passover meal before the Holy Thursday service. At 6:45 on Thursday, April 17 you are invited to a Passover Meal in the Fellowship Hall, followed by our Holy Thursday service at 7:30 in the sanctuary. At the Passover meal you will learn about the symbolic foods served there and how they remind us of the Exodus Story. You will participate in parts of the Passover liturgy. (Please note that this will not be a full meal, but rather an opportunity to taste some symbolic foods; most of us will want to eat our evening meal before we come to the Passover meal, or after the worship service.)
The Passover meal will be followed by a worship service that tells the story of that fateful night through readings, prayers, music and other sensory experience. You will hear the 30 pieces of silver rattling, you will touch the thorns of Jesus’ crown, you will hear from Barabbas, the prisoner who was released instead of Jesus.
On Good Friday (April 18) we will have a worship service at 7:30 p.m. This service will feature a drama that tells the story of the crucifixion. The drama will be presented by members of our congregation.
Yes, Holy Week comes around every year, and we tell basically the same story every year. But we can experience it new every year if we come with our hearts prepared on Holy Thursday and Good Friday.