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Holy Week 2021 at Our Saviour's


A Spiritual Discipline
 
After a long season of Lent, marked by prayer, fasting, generous giving, acts of service and justice, including mid-week opportunities for prayer with the community, why would anyone commit to attending worship five times in eight days?
 
The events and practices of Holy Week have deep roots in the history of the Christian faith. We know, of course, that the center of our faith is grounded in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Beginning with Palm/Passion Sunday, believers are invited to remember and recommit to the centrality of God’s redemptive work in blessing and redeeming the whole creation by observing the events of Jesus’ last week. From Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, through his last meal with his disciples and his act of humble service, his trial, suffering, and crucifixion, through the heartache of waiting on Holy Saturday, we come prepared for the wonder and mystery of resurrection: God’s promise that death does not have the last word!
 
Gail Ramshaw writes in Keeping Time, “observance of the Three Days stresses…that the church is the community born again by the resurrection of Christ, who annually renews its commitment to the baptized life. The mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ is not primarily a past event but is experienced in the present (emphasis mine) by the baptized community that is drawn by the Spirit into a future promised by God.”
 
During this Covid year of being away from our gathered community, perhaps now more than ever we need to be re-grounded in our central identity as baptized people, joined to the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, for the sake of the world. Deeply engaging in the practices of Holy Week can do that for us.
 
 
 The Three Days
 
 
Maundy Thursday
 
This day takes its name from Jesus’ new commandment to love one another. Jesus gathered with his friends to share a festive meal, but first he knelt at their feet, taking on the posture of a humble servant as he washed the dust of the road off of them. We may experience this ritual washing as an awkward thing to do – especially in our own homes, without the ritual practice of the church surrounding us! But we encourage you to do just that. Wash your own feet in ritual fashion, imagining Jesus kneeling at your feet. Take turns washing the feet of family members if they are present. Feel the human awkwardness both of serving and of being served. This is the way Jesus calls us to follow.
 
Then we share in Holy Communion, remembering that first time Jesus broke the bread and offered the cup as his own body and blood, given for the sake of the world. Do this in remembrance of him.
 
The service ends with a psalm, and the stripping of the sanctuary of all adornment. We remember that Jesus walked from the supper to his humiliation and death. All his disciples fell away. United with Christ by baptism, we too are called to die with him…giving up everything. Worshipping from our homes, we will symbolize this stripping away by turning off the lights in our homes, so that one by one the Zoom boxes will go dark. We end in silence, as this service continues on Good Friday. Approximate time: 60 minutes.
 
Zoom Link
Meeting ID: 881 6421 2451   Passcode: 545340
 
 
 Good Friday
 
We gather in silence to hear the passion story according to St. John. In John’s gospel, Jesus is lifted up on the cross as a sign of his glorification. As he is lifted up he draws the whole world to himself. The reading of John’s passion will be accompanied by present day images that represent the suffering and sin that is still all too present in our world. We pray for all the people of the world. We pause to reflect and pray around a rough-hewn cross, beholding the life-giving cross on which was hung the salvation of the whole world. We end in silence. Approximate time: 45 minutes.
 
Zoom Link
Meeting ID: 876 7878 8668   Passcode: 301416
 
 

 Easter Vigil
 
This service is the pinnacle of the entire church year! We begin by lighting a new fire and acknowledging the light of Christ’s presence in, with, and through us. We hear the ancient stories of faith portrayed in creative and contemporary ways, tying us to our ancestors in the faith. We celebrate the sacrament of Holy Baptism, remembering that this is the passageway for all Christians to enter into the Body of Christ. Having been drowned in the celebration of Christ’s resurrection, as we celebrate the first Eucharist of Easter. Alleluia returns; our Lenten fast is over; we rejoice at the rebirth of all creation!! This service is pre-recorded and will be available for viewing first at 6:30 pm on Saturday, and remains available for viewing at your convenience. Approximate time: 2 hours.
 
Facebook
 
YouTube
 
 
 
Easter Sunday
 
We continue the joyous celebration as the church gathers again, this time via Facebook Live. Worship leaders will be present in the sanctuary, as a symbol of the gathered community in our sacred space. We will sing (virtually), give thanks for baptism, hear the story of Christ’s resurrection and share in the Holy Meal. Fed and nourished by Word and Meal, we are sent out to be witnesses to God’s abundant and merciful grace that is for all people! Alleluia! Approximate time: 60 minutes.
 
Each of these services will be hosted in real time, and will be available for viewing afterwards, so that you can participate in a schedule that works for you. We urge you to take advantage of the strange blessings of this year, engaging in the services of this week without the challenges of drive time and parking issues. Together we are reminded of our baptismal identity as God’s people through Jesus Christ, our Savior.
 
 
9:00am Easter Morning Coffee Hour on Zoom
 
Zoom Link 
Meeting ID: 848 1395 2193 Passcode: 854661
 
 
 10:30am Worship on Facebook Live
 
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Worship Folder
 
 

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