Holy Week & Easter
Holy means “set apart.” We encourage all of Village Church to set apart the week leading up to Easter as a singular and special week for followers of Jesus. For many centuries, followers of Jesus looked forward to this meaningful week of gatherings. Please consider planning your week around these worship gatherings. You will be blessed alongside the millions of believers around the world who will be coming together in deepening anticipation! Will you set it apart?
HISTORY AND MEANING
It is still uncertain when Christians first began to make an annual (as opposed to a weekly) memorial of the death and resurrection of Christ. This Pascha (a word derived indirectly from pesach, Hebrew ‘Passover’) was at first a night-long vigil, followed by the celebration of the Eucharist at cock-crow, and all the great themes of redemption were included within it: incarnation, suffering, death, resurrection, glorification. Over time, the Pascha developed into the articulated structure of Holy Week and Easter.
"The Christian shares in Christ’s own journey, from the triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to the empty tomb on Easter morning"
Through participation in the whole sequence of services, the Christian shares in Christ’s own journey, from the triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to the empty tomb on Easter morning. The procession with palms, which was already observed in Jerusalem in the fourth century, is accompanied by the reading or singing of the Passion Narrative, in which the whole story of the week is anticipated. Maundy Thursday (from mandatum, ‘commandment’, John 13.34) contains a rich complex of themes: humble Christian service expressed through Christ’s washing of his disciples’ feet, the institution of the Eucharist, the perfection of Christ’s loving obedience through the agony of Gethsemane.
After keeping vigil (‘Could you not watch with me one hour?’), Thursday passes into Good Friday with the veneration of the cross. It is a widespread custom for there not to be a celebration of the Eucharist on Good Friday, but for the consecrated bread and wine remaining from the Maundy Thursday Eucharist to be given in communion. The church remains stripped of all decoration. It continues bare and empty through the following day, which is a day without a liturgy: there can be no adequate way of recalling the “being dead” of the Son of God, other than silence and desolation. But within the silence there grows a sense of peace and completion, and then rising excitement as the Easter Vigil draws near. This solemn season preserves some of the oldest texts still in current use, and rehearses the deepest and most fundamental Christian memories. (excerpted from Passiontide and Holy Week - The Church of England)
HOLY WEEK DATES & INFO FOR MARCH / APRIL 2018
25 PALM SUNDAY - 10a - Please arrive a little early as we will have a special processional to commemorate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem!
29 MAUNDY THURSDAY - 6:30p - A memorial of Christ serving his disciples through foot washing and Communion. We will humble ourselves and wash each others feet as Christ instructed, followed by Holy Communion.
30 GOOD FRIDAY SERVICE - 6:30p - A somber, but meaningful memorial of Christ’s suffering and death.
31 EASTER VIGIL - 7:30pm. Weather permitting, we will share in the Service of Lights and Service of Lessons, gathering first around a newly lit fire to light the Easter candle in anticipation of Easter morning.
APRIL 1 - EASTER SUNDAY - 10am - Come and celebrate the resurrection with us!