Midweek Update & Links to Maundy Thursday and Good Friday from St. Andrew's - March 31, 2021
On Holy Week
Years ago I had an interesting conversation with the mother of a pastor friend of mine. She said that when she was growing up in the Presbyterian church they did not celebrate the seasons of the church year, including Advent, Lent, or Holy Week. She had never been to a Maundy Thursday or Good Friday service until she visited her son's church. It's true that for centuries the Protestant church had distanced itself from ritual worship, avoiding anything that resembled Roman Catholicism (Episcopalians retained some of the practices). To this day, some Protestants only celebrate Christmas and Easter. Anything else is considered a distraction from the primacy of the Bible (sola scriptura). However, since the 1960s there has been a slow return to these ancient observances, with some churches more eager than others to practice them.
I am grateful for their return. These two worship services, along with Ash Wednesday, deepen the joy of Easter. They are like contrasting colors in a work of art. The resurrection is made brighter and more hopeful when we remember the dark hours from supper to arrest to crucifixion. They are quiet meditations on fellowship, loss, and suffering, all of which are the tangible realities of the human experience. When these weightier aspects of this present life are brought into focus, one tends to respond to Christ's triumph over death with a more genuine and heartfelt "Alleluia!"
May your week be holy and sacred!
P.S. The links to our Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services are below.
ADULT EDUCATION. This Sunday, Dr. Tamar Kamionkowski, a Professor of Bible at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, Pennsylvania, will present a webinar entitled The Book of Exodus and Passover which was recorded at the Spring Meeting of the Westar Institute on March 17. The holiday of Passover is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible more often than any other annual biblical holiday, and yet the origins of Passover are quite mysterious.
Please Join us Sunday right after Coffee Hour at 11 AM on Zoom!