Holy Week begins with triumphant Palm Sunday and finishes with solemn Good Friday and Saturday vigil. It commemorates the events of the last week in Jesus’ life. Holy Week, together with Easter, is the most sacred part of the Church calendar, and is so important in the Gospel of the John that this single week is the focus of almost one half of the entire book.
Palm Sunday - April 14
Palm Sunday is the week before Easter. It celebrates the triumphant entry of Jesus into the Holy city of Jerusalem. He enters with a large and noisy crowd spreading cloaks and palm branches before Him. The palm branch was a symbol of triumph and victory in the Roman Empire. This is how kings used to enter cities in the biblical times. Jesus entering into Jerusalem in this way must have been a shock to the local authorities. But Jesus did not arrive on a mighty warhorse fitting of an earthly king. Instead, He went into Jerusalem on a young a donkey, signaling His entry as the Prince of Peace, who comes in the name of the Lord God.
At Creator Lutheran, Palm Sunday is celebrated with a procession into the worship space, with palm branches in hand and praises of “Hosanna” in our voices. We are reminded of the triumph, but also have knowledge of the coming events of Holy Week. We see the coming crucifixion of Jesus, but also the triumphant resurrection, where God in His love for each of us, defeats even death. Within the traditional church, each season has a color. In much of Holy week the color you will see on Creator altar and garments is red – the color of blood and sacrifice
Maundy Thursday - April 18
What is Maundy Thursday? The word Maundy comes from the Latin word “mandatum”, which means command. On Maundy Thursday Jesus gave us two commands. First is to love one another: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” The second command was to celebrate Communion or the Lord’s Supper: And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”
Maundy Thursday has two other significant events. First is the washing of the disciples’ feet just before the supper meal. Jesus demonstrated the humility of the servant God, by washing the feet of all the disciples. This tells us what kind of God we really have. Second was the betrayal of Jesus by Judas and the arrest later in the evening. As disciples of Christ, at Creator, we reflect on both events in our relationship with Jesus as we prepare ourselves for His crucifixion.
Good Friday - April 19
On Good Friday, Christians throughout the world commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus. There are no clear explanations why it is called Good Friday - emotions and thoughts can range from sorrow and guilt all the way to thanksgiving and praise. But it is a good time for Christians to gather to think about the death of Jesus, pray, and wait for the promise.
At Creator, we will solemnly worship the crucified Jesus. Although the church seasonal color for Good Friday is white, Creator worship space will remain a dark place, with muted colors.
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