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Holy Week Is Upon Us!

Now that Lent is coming to a close, what are we going to do!?

First, let me personally invite you to join us for Palm Sunday at 10:00 am and/or 4:00 pm. In the morning we will celebrate Palm Sunday followed by a passionate reading of the Passion, along with music and poetry to help us better enter into the story. At 4:00 we will gather with our sisters and brothers from all the Lutheran Churches of New Castle County for a service of anointing and healing followed by a prayer walk towards Rodney Square.

Then, please do join us for The Great Three Days (Paschal Triduum, Holy Week, etc…) where we will enter into the story more fully with Christ and each other so that on the first Eucharist of Easter (celebrated on the Saturday Vigil at 7:45) we will truly be able to understand our great feast day of Easter morning. It is a lot to commit to, but for Christians these are the most holy times of our calendar - and of our faith. It occurs but once a year and is a way to help us fully understand our story and faith.

Here are some notes, taken from Sundays and Seasons to help us understand what to expect:

Maundy Thursday (Maundy means to command - Jesus gives us a new commandment to love one another as he loved us). We will change from the Lenten purple on Palm Sunday to red to signify the color of passion and blood. The colors help to add to the dramatics of the story and set the mood.

With nightfall, our Lenten observance comes to an end, and we gather with Christians around the world to celebrate the Three Days of Jesus’ death and resurrection. At the heart of the Maundy Thursday liturgy is Jesus’ commandment to love one another. Once more we will confess our sins to God and hear the words of absolution - privately - reminding us that we are beloved and forgiven children of God. At the Lord’s table we remember Jesus’ sacrifice of his life, even as we are called to offer ourselves in love for the life of the world.

Good Friday. After the altar is stripped, we will be in a bare - tomb like sanctuary where we will join in the death of Christ only to rise again, triumphantly singing "This is the Feast of Victory" on Saturday and Sunday.

At the heart of the Good Friday liturgy is the passion according to John, which proclaims Jesus as a triumphant king who reigns from the cross. The ancient title for this day—the triumph of the cross—reminds us that the church gathers not to mourn this day but to celebrate Christ’s life-giving passion and to find strength and hope in the tree of life. In the ancient bidding prayer we offer petitions for all the world for whom Christ died. Today’s liturgy culminates in the Easter Vigil tomorrow evening.

Resurrection of Our Lord - The Vigil of Easter. Listen carefully as you hear some of the greatest treasures of our Scripture read to us - the stories of our salvation.

This is the night! This is our Passover with Christ from darkness to light, from bondage to freedom, from death to life. Tonight is the heart of our celebration of the Three Days and the pinnacle of the church’s year. The resurrection of Christ is proclaimed in word and sign, and we gather around a pillar of fire, hear ancient stories of our faith, welcome new sisters and brothers at the font, and share the food and drink of the promised land. Raised with Christ, we go forth into the world, aflame with the good news of the resurrection.

May God bless you as we close our of our Lenten time together and enter into Holy Week. May you know the love of Christ in every moment.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Jason

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