Holy Week is a time of intense preparation for Easter. More specifically, it is a time when our journey with Christ to Calvary is almost complete. In the final week of his life, he entered Jerusalem in triumph, challenged the hypocrisy of the religious leadership of his day, taught that the time for the old religious ordered centered around the Temple was coming to a close, and prepared his disciples for the advent of the new order centered around the commemoration and proclamation of his death and resurrection. Then he was betrayed and abandoned by those same disciples, falsely accused and unjustly tried, and became the pawn of a spineless political leader, Pilate, who sentenced him to public execution in order to appease the mob. Our Lord died painfully, publicly, and alone. But three days later, he did something the world could not soon forget: he rose again and called all humanity with him into his glorious kingdom prepared for him by his Father.
During Holy Week, we walk with Jesus on this journey, and we experience his exaltation, humiliation, passion, and resurrection with him. At Christ Church Anglican, we have a number of special observances which are designed to aid us in that journey:
Sunday, April 13, 4:00 pm: Palm Sunday service at Wayne UMC, where we experience the contrast between Jesus' public exaltation at his Triumphal Entry to Jerusalem and that same public's demand for his execution less than a week later.
Monday, April 14, 6:00 pm: the final installment of the Parables of the Passion study will take us through Jesus’ parable of the wicked tenants, who kill the landlord’s son, in Matthew 21. At the home of the Hamarich’s in Pottstown.
Wednesday, April 16, 6:00 pm: the final installment of the Parables of the Passion study will also take place at Wayne UMC in the Fellowship Hall downstairs.
Thursday, April 17, 7:00 pm: joint Maundy Thursday service with Wayne UMC, where we remember the Lord's institution of Holy Communion as a remembrance of his death and resurrection and his command to "love one another."
Friday, April 18, 12:00 noon: community Good Friday service featuring the churches of Wayne, where we journey with Jesus up the mount of Calvary. The procession will start at Wayne UMC and go to Wayne Presbyterian for the service.
Friday, April 18, 7:30 pm: Memento Mori, an evening reverie using art to grapple with our mortality, featuring art, poetry, dance, Scripture readings, and a performance by the Russian Trio. At Wayne UMC.
Saturday, April 19, 8:00 pm: the Great Vigil of Easter, where we will explore the biblical story of salvation together and celebrate the first Communion of Easter. At Wayne UMC.
Sunday, April 20, 4:00 pm: Easter service followed by church potluck. At Wayne UMC.
May God richly bless your Holy Week.
~ Coming up after Easter ~
Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 7:00 pm: The John Jay Institute presents “Taking Religion Seriously: Muslims, Christians, Jews, and World Order,” a lecture by the Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, retired Bishop of Rochester in the Church of England, who will examine the role of religion in world order with reference to democratic aspirations for the near east. Location: The Merion Tribute House, Merion Station, PA. To register, call (215) 987-3003 or visit www.johnjayinstitute.org/events.
Thursday, May 1 – Saturday, May 3: Christ Church Anglican and Wayne UMC will be hosting the annual Synod of our diocese, CANA East. Our Bishop, Julian Dobbs, and his assistant Bishop David Benna, will be presiding, and the Rt. Rev. Nazir-Ali will be the plenary speaker. For more information and to register, visit canaeast.com/#/schedule-registration/synod-2014-registration. If you would like to volunteer to help, as a demonstration of our parish's hospitality, please contact the Rev. Deacon Phil Shade.