The Lord be with you
Holy Week is fast approaching. This week is the apex of the Church year just as it is the apex of the four Gospels.
Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday and ends with Easter Sunday. It is, therefore, eight days. In Matthew’s gospel Holy Week begins with chapter twenty-one and goes through chapter twenty-eight, verse fifteen. In Mark’s Gospel it begins with chapter eleven and goes through chapter sixteen, verse eight. In Luke Holy Week begins in mid-chapter (19:28) and goes to Luke 24:49. In John’s Gospel Holy Week again starts in the middle of a chapter (12:12) and continues to chapter twenty, verse twenty-three. John gives noticeably more stories about post-Easter appearances of Jesus. This means that about twenty-nine chapters in the Gospels focus on the last week of the earthly life of Jesus which is more space than any single Gospel (Matthew has twenty-eight chapters; Mark has sixteen chapters; Luke has twenty-four chapters; John has twenty-one chapters). To put this another way, the eight days of Holy Week receive a little over 30% of the space the Gospel writers give to tell us Jesus’ story.
The Church has recognized the pivotal place of Holy Week, not only in the life of Jesus and the Church but also in the life of each individual Christian in many ways. One of the most common is to incorporate special worship services. There are actually special liturgies for each day of Holy Week. At Our Redeemer we do not have a full week of services (which would mean a worship service each day of Holy Week). That doesn’t mean we are ignoring the week. We will have a special liturgy on Palm Sunday (AKA Passion Sunday). We will also have a special service on Maundy Thursday (AKA Holy Thursday), one on Good Friday (AKA Holy Friday) and (of course) on Easter Sunday (AKA The Resurrection of Our Lord).
Each one of these services is a unique worship opportunity. This is not a complete listing of activities, only an indication of the special services we will be having. If you are not a member of a congregation, we invite you to join us. If you are a member of a congregation other than Our Redeemer, I encourage you to find out what special events and worship services your congregation is planning to mark this most holy of all weeks.
Pastor John Rickert
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