Holy Week at Christ Church Anglican
What makes Holy Week so holy? In a very important sense, nothing. By Christ’s atoning death and mighty resurrection, he has extended his glorious reign over all time and space. Every day is a new day in his inaugurated kingdom, as we look forward to the culmination of his victory on that day when he returns to finish his work.
Christ secured his victory not in an eternal now or ethereal abstraction, but in time and space. God the Son became incarnate and lived a normal human life like we all do, bound like our lives all are by a particular locale and a particular culture and language and, most importantly, but a particular set of days and years. The liturgical Holy Week corresponds to the last actual week of Christ’s human life, which ended in his crucifixion and death. In that sense, Holy Week reminds us of the concrete actuality of Christ’s life and most especially his Passion, his one sacrifice once made for all. As it draws our attention and focuses our devotion on this most climactic moment of our Lord’s ministry to us, that moment when death was truly swallowed up by life, Holy Week is most holy indeed.
At Christ Church, we will be offering a number of services to help us focus our attention on this singular moment of our redemption in Christ which climax in the great "Three Days" (or Triduum in Latin), Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. As his victory is truly assured and not in any real sense repeated by our remembrance of it, hints of resurrection hope and glorious victory will be peppered throughout even the most solemn of our liturgies. We remember his Passion in the light of his resurrected glory. Even in Holy Week, the Lord is risen indeed!
Evening: Holy Communion is not traditionally celebrated between Maundy Thursday and the Easter Vigil. For that reason we will have a contemplative service of meditation and adoration of Christ’s Passion. The service will follow the format of Evening Prayer, with simple plainsong music, special intercessions for the world (the “solemn collects of Good Friday,” one of the most ancient parts of the Good Friday or any other liturgy), and a final meditation on the Passion using a Nigerian devotion adapted from the medieval Latin “Reproaches.” The service will be a little longer than one hour, starting at 7:00 pm at Wayne UMC.