An Invitation to Holy Week

We are entering a week of celebrating the holy mysteries at the heart of the Christian faith.  This is what our faith is all about!

The service that everyone attends is Easter morning, and that is right and good- Easter joy is for all the world!  But to know that joy more truly, I invite you to delve deeper into this week.  The more worship services you are able to attend, the more you get to experience. 

Palm Sunday: April 13th, 10:30am.
This Sunday, we’ll wave palms and read the story of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  It is a celebration of Jesus as a folk hero, with subversive political undertones. The Gospel starts here, but goes much deeper.

Maundy Thursday: April 17th, 7pm.
We worship with our friends at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church.  1805 W Alabama St, Houston, TX 77098
Thursday, we read of Jesus’ last supper with his friends.  We remember how he promised to be present in our meals together, to be revealed as we break bread.  We see how the love at the center of the universe is about kneeling to serve each other. 

Good Friday: April 18th, 7pm
On Friday we see how real death is, that it hurts.  We remember that humans die, and that grieving for loved ones is a part of our life.  But most of all, we see that God would rather die for us than ever kill, and that even in the midst of torture and ridicule and pain, God’s nature is to forgive.  On Good Friday, we watch God die.  And we hear that, somehow, this is for us.

Easter Vigil: April 19th, 9pm
Saturday night, we gather for one of the church’s most ancient rituals.  Like the earliest Christians in Roman catacombs, around a fire, we spend the night re-telling all the stories of our faith.  We remind each other of all the times that God has acting in the world to bring life, and wholeness, and resurrection.  And we proclaim Easter- the ultimate triumph of life over death, goodness over evil, love over hate.   In this one night, the grand story of our faith is told.   This used to be the night when, after this telling, new Christians were baptized.  At Grace this year, several people will be baptized, and the rest of us will be reminded of our baptisms.   We move to the altar, stand around it together, and eat the Lord’s supper.   I know that not everyone will attend this service.  But if you want to see the heart of our faith, to hear what Christianity is all about, this is the night to experience it.

Easter Sunrise: April 20th, 7am.
On Sunday, Easter morning, remembering the women going to the tomb of Jesus at dawn, we gather to hear the early news, to remember the confusion, to be amazed, to feel the wonderment. 

Easter Breakfast: April 20th, 9am.
(We take a break to eat and party.  This isn’t a liturgical tradition, but a part of our church life anyway!)

Easter Mass: April 20th: 10:30am.
The great celebration- Christ is Risen!  Death is defeated! This is life for all the world!  And we’ll have our biggest service of the year, full of people from all walks of life, celebrating the hope of more than we can see, feeling Easter Joy.

This deep meaning of our faith, of this week, is more than you or I can know or understand.  But I invite you to come this week and begin feeling it.  And to spend your lifetime living it, little by little, deeper and deeper. 
Death and suffering are real, and they hurt.  But life and love are greater.  Even more real.  Come and worship!

No comments:

Post a Comment