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Holy Week Schedule
Published Monday, March 26, 2012

2012 HOLY WEEK OBSERVANCES AND EASTER CELEBRATIONS FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF BUFFALO

Our congregation will have many opportunities to share the grace of God and seek new meaning in our spiritual relationship with God during Holy Week and Easter in 2012. We had some wonderful experiences last year and this year we will once again prepare for the joy and glory of Easter with special services each day from Palm Sunday through Good Friday. Here is the schedule for this special week of witnessing to Christ’s death and resurrection:

Sunday, April 1

Palm Sunday at 11:00 a.m.

We shout our “Hosannas and welcome the Messiah into Jerusalem with our traditional Palm Sunday Parade and singing the songs of Christ’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. We’ll hear the familiar story in Mark 11:1-11 and lift our prayers to God for a special experience of the Lord’s presence during this Holy Week.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Holy Week

5:30-6:00 p.m. Prayer Services

We’ll gather early in the evening before dinner for quiet services of prayer, meditation, and sharing our spiritual journey together as we prepare to witness the Passion of Christ together. Each evening we’ll hear the words of comfort and strength from the Suffering Servant of the Lord songs in the book of the prophet Isaiah as we listen for what God is saying to us in this Holy Week.

Monday: Isaiah 42:1-9

Tuesday Isaiah 49:1-7

Wednesday Isaiah 50:4-9

Maundy Thursday Communion Service at 7:00

Maundy Thursday has always been special for everyone who makes the effort to take the spiritual journey to the Upper Room and experience the Last Supper with our Lord. This year we’ll listen once again to the story of Christ’s last evening as written in the gospel of John, remember the episode in the Garden of Gethsemane, and ponder the meaning of Christ’s words at this spiritual supper.

Good Friday Service-7:00 p.m.

“The Cross In Our Time”

What does the Cross really mean for today’s Christian? On Good Friday we’ll experience ways that the cross is still evident in our own place and time, and the way it affects us all even centuries after Christ’s death. Reading from the fourth Servant Song in Isaiah 52:13-53:12 we’ll focus we’ll ponder all that our savior has done for us. We’ll have a special liturgy for the evening, some special effects to ponder and meditate upon, and lots of prayers as we answer the question, “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?”

THE JOYOUS FESTIVAL OF EASTER!

Mark 16:1-8 tells the early morning story of the first Easter. I Corinthians 15:1-11 gives us Paul’s words on the miracle of resurrection. This year we will celebrate the wondrous glory of Easter Morning and the new life that comes with the Resurrection of the Lord. Once again we’ll celebrate with two services.

6:30 a.m. Sunrise Service

Last year we were very pleasantly surprised by the number of people who got up early and came to witness the resurrection at sunrise during our outdoor Easter Sunrise service. This year we will once again gather outside in the courtyard in front of the church. Our own Phil Sims and Theresa Quinn, the Music Director from the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church will provide the music. We’ll sing our favorite hymns, and one new one. After the service we’ll have a wonderful Continental Breakfast in the Narthex. (Note: in case of inclement weather we’ll gather in the chapel)

THEN

9:30 A.M.: A VERY SPECIAL EASTER BICENTENNIAL PRESENTATION

As part of our Bicentennial Celebration we have asked our own Roger Woodard, a professor in the Classics Department at the University of Buffalo to share something with us. As many of you know Roger has been in Rome studying and researching this semester. We always miss Roger and Katherine when they are away but this year they are coming back for just a few days and we will get the benefit of Roger’s well known ability as a fine teacher. Roger occupies a special chair at the University of Buffalo. The chair was endowed in the name of Rev. Dr. Andrew Raymond, a pastor at First Presbyterian Church in the early 20th century. Dr. Raymond was our pastor during the 100th anniversary of our congregation and led our congregation through many changes including doing mission work in China.

Roger has agreed to tell us about Dr. Raymond and has done his usual thorough research. He will share his knowledge of Dr. Raymond and his work during the Adult Sunday School hour at 9:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday. Since Roger and his wife Katherine are only back for a few days before returning to Rome for the rest of the semester it is a double treat for us to have him share with us on Easter morning. We hope everyone will come to enjoy Rogers’s unique teaching style and abundant knowledge with us.

PLEASE MAKE TIME TO JOIN DR. ROGER WOODARD FOR THIS SPECIAL HOUR!

11:00 a.m. Easter Celebration

Our Easter services here at First Presbyterian Church have always been wonderful experiences of celebration and new life. Once again we’ll be joined by some wonderful musicians as we experience the glorious resurrection of the Lord together. In our prayers and our songs we’ll give special thanks to God. And we’ll hear again the wonderful story of that blazing glory which is Christ’s resurrection; and which brings new life to us all.

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