I encourage you to consider our midweek Lenten services (Wed. 7 PM), with the theme “Words from the Cross.” We have three services remaining (Mar. 14, 21, 28). Make plans to attend.
Also, as we move toward April, we begin the observance and celebrations associated with Holy Week. This is the highest festival time for Christians because we follow Jesus from His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) to the upper room for the institution of the Lord’s Supper (Maundy Thursday), to the cross (Good Friday), and finally to the empty tomb of the resurrection (Easter Sunday). Note that the services on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday do not have a benediction at the end of the service. That is because Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil (Saturday) and Easter Sunday are all seen as one service, so the benediction comes with a triumph of the empty tomb!
Holy Week Schedule:
(Note the colors of each day)
April 1 Palm Sunday [Purple] Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. We will be confirming five adults during the 11:00 service. Special music at each service.
April 5 Maundy Thursday [Red] (7 PM). We celebrate the Lord’s Supper. This service concludes with stripping the altar, as Jesus leaves for his arrest.
April 6 Good Friday [Black] (7 PM). The subdued service includes Jesus’ words from the cross and hymns
April 8 Easter Sunday [White] 6:30 AM and 10:00 AM The conclusion for this week and season comes with Jesus being raised from the dead. The empty tomb proclaims to the world.
We join in the proclamation with the exchange: “He is risen!” is met with “He is risen, indeed!”
Make plans to worship at all of these services.
Definitions related to this season:
In Latin the term quadragesima (translation of Greek Τεσσαρακοστή, the “fortieth” day before Easter) is used. This nomenclature is preserved in Romance, Slavic and Celtic languages. In the late Middle Ages, as sermons were given in the vernacular (i.e. English) instead of Latin, the English word lent was adopted. This word initially meant “spring” (as in the German language Lenz) and derives from the Germanic root for “long” because in the spring the days visibly lengthen.
Maundy Thursday (or “Holy Thursday” in Roman Catholic and Orthodox uses)
The derivation of the word is interesting and there are at least two possibilities for the origin.
1) Many note that the English word Maundy is derived through Middle English and Old French mandé, from Latin mandatum, the first word of the phrase (“A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you” John 13:34), when Jesus explained to the apostles the significance of his action of washing their feet.
2) However, others note that if the name was derived from the Latin mandatum, the day would be Mandy Thursday, or Mandate Thursday, or Mandatum Thursday. Instead, it is proposed that the term “Maundy” comes from the Latin mendicare, Old French mendier, and English maund, which means “to beg” (verb) or a “small basket” (noun) held out by maunders (beggars) as they maunded (begged).