This year continues to roll, or maybe race, by and here we are looking at Holy Week 2019. Preparations, both corporate and individual, have been underway for some time. From the Ash Wednesday Service on March 6th, we as Calvary have spent time in the Scripture and in prayer, asking God for His presence in our hearts and minds through the season of repentance and reflection. Lent ends Thursday, April 24th and we celebrate with a Maundy Thursday evening service of Holy Communion that begins at 7:00pm. Holy Week however, begins Sunday, April 14th when at all three services we remember and celebrate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. It’s interesting that in some traditions, these times are not celebrated while in other traditions, like the Lutheran, Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Catholic traditions, the liturgies used for Holy Week are very similar. Our Moravian brothers and sisters gather daily for services.
As you, and your family or small group prayerfully live your way through the week, you will make time to pause and be still so you may know He is God. Traditions may differ a bit:
Holy Monday usually recognizes Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple
Holy Tuesday includes Jesus’ predictions of his own death (John 12:20-36; 13:21-38)
Holy Wednesday is considered to be the day of Judas’ betrayal and deal with the High Priest
Maundy Thursday services remember the gathering of Jesus and His disciples in the Upper Room - the breaking of bread and sharing the cup
Good Friday is the day we remember his crucifixion through a 7:00pm Tenebrae Service
Holy Saturday or Black Saturday is the day between the crucifixion and the resurrection. There is not a general practice of a service on this day. It is a day for prayer, fasting, and meditation on Jesus’ death. Some will gather after sundown, beginning in darkness and then lighting a candle. This light, as we are moving into Easter or Resurrection Sunday, symbolizes the light of salvation and the hope that God brings into the world through Christ’s resurrection.
Traditions are a wonderful gift. They attempt to help us grasp, remember, and relate to the indescribable gift of grace and light and life that Jesus brings to us from the heart of God. I’ve included a link where you might go. It has a prayer for each day of Holy Week, again an attempt to help pull us from our everyday life and never ending amount of stuff that takes space in our hearts and minds, and tries in some way to bring us into a holy space with Almighty God.
Whatever the day or means, I want to encourage you to make some time to reflect this week on God’s way of saying, “I love you.”