The church office is busy this week getting ready for upcoming Holy Week services: The Palm/Passion service this Sunday at which the Choir will sing an oratorio with full orchestra, the communion service in the Fellowship Hall on Maundy Thursday at 5:30 p.m., a service of reflection at noon on Good Friday, and of course worship on Easter Sunday. Given that we are preparing for four services, it startles me when people go through Holy Week as if it does not exist except for the Sundays on either end.
Being oblivious is easy, of course. The world around us does not take note of the last supper shared by the disciples on Maundy Thursday, when Jesus gave us the commandment to love one another (Maundy comes from the Latin word “to command”). Good Friday passes unheralded by school or business closings in much of the country, though Montgomery County Schools happen to be on break. Easter retail opportunities abound, but not many items represent the crucial days before. Last weekend, however, I spotted several elaborate chocolate crosses for sale in a restaurant gift shop. Another customer and I exchanged startled looks, then whispered our reluctance to chow down on crosses—even though they were available in both milk and dark chocolate.
For those who plan to journey through Holy Week mindfully, be assured that we are working to make Holy Week as meaningful as possible. On Maundy Thursday we will gather around tables in the Fellowship Hall and pass the bread and cup to one another. On Good Friday worshipers in the Sanctuary may place rose petals on the cross of nails as we reflect on Jesus’ life and death. The noon service will accommodate those who only have an hour for lunch, and the visuals will be meaningful to older children.
Not everyone is able to come to midweek services as scheduled. Those who could come at night can’t come during the day and vice versa, so nothing works for everyone every year. Even so, not doing things that have the potential to deepen faith is an easy habit to fall into. If that’s been true for you, perhaps this year can be the year you make a change.
Scripture Readings: Matthew 27:15-52; Luke 22:13-49
The Prayer List can be found here.