HOLY WEEK WORSHIP IN THE UNITED PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL
A full schedule of worship opportunities is available to help us “walk with Jesus” to Jerusalem in 2018!
SUNDAY OF THE PASSION/PALM SUNDAY
SATURDAY MARCH 24 (5:00 PM LIGHT OF CHRIST)
SUNDAY MARCH 25 (9:00 AM ST. PETER’S,
11:00 AM LIGHT OF CHRIST)
The first and second readings and psalm are the same this Sunday every year: Christ emptying himself of divine power and protection, willingly becoming vulnerable to those who struck him and put him to death. With Christ we lament his suffering and all human suffering, but expect God’s final vindication. Mark’s passion story begins with an unnamed woman anointing his head, perhaps to proclaim him Messiah, and Jesus saying she has anointed him beforehand for burial
FRIDAY MARCH 30
(NOON LIGHT OF CHRIST,
7:00 PM ST. PETER’S)
At the heart of the Good Friday liturgy is the passion according to John, which proclaims Jesus as a triumphant king who reigns from the cross. The ancient title for this day—the triumph of the cross—reminds us that the church gathers not to mourn this day but to celebrate Christ’s life-giving passion and to find strength and hope in the tree of life. In the ancient bidding prayer we offer petitions for all the world for whom Christ died.
THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD
SUNDAY APRIL 1
(7:00 AM ST. PETER’S,
9:00 AM ST. PETER’S,
11:00 AM LIGHT OF CHRIST)
This year may be the one in which John’s resurrection account is likely to be chosen over Mark’s, perhaps because Mark’s gospel ends so abruptly, with astonishment and fear rather than joyful proclamation. Yet Mark may speak to our experience more directly than the other gospels. Corinthians and Acts fill out the story by telling of appearances of the risen Christ. Peter says we “ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.” And so do we, in a foretaste of the mountaintop feast where death will be no more.
WEDNESDAY MARCH 28 (7:00 PM, ST. PAUL’S FOUNTAIN HILL)
We continue our Holy Week Worship by joining our sisters and brothers in Christ from across Bethlehem in a Healing worship. Come out and experience the healing presence of Christ within the world.
THURSDAY MARCH 29
(NOON ST. PETER’S,
7:00 PM LIGHT OF CHRIST)
With nightfall our Lenten observance comes to an end, and we gather with Christians around the world to celebrate the Three Days of Jesus’ death and resurrection. At the heart of the Maundy Thursday liturgy is Jesus’ commandment to love one another. As Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, we are called to follow his example as we humbly care for one another, especially the poor and the unloved. At the Lord’s table we remember Jesus’ sacrifice of his life, even as we are called to offer ourselves in love for the life of the world.
SATURDAY MARCH 31
(7:00 PM LIGHT OF CHRIST)
This is the night! This is our Passover with Christ from darkness to light, from bondage to freedom, from death to life. Tonight is the heart of our celebration of the Three Days and the pinnacle of the church’s year. The resurrection of Christ is proclaimed in word and sign, and we gather around a pillar of fire, hear ancient stories of our faith, welcome new sisters and brothers at the font, and share the food and drink of the promised land. Raised with Christ, we go forth into the world, aflame with the good news of the resurrection.