This year First Presbyterian Church is offering numerous opportunities for everyone to observe Holy Week in ways that will deepen our relationships, enrich our faith and soothe our souls. We hope everyone will make time for God during Holy Week—March 24-31. Please join your friends for as many of these services of worship as you can to prepare yourselves for the great joy and the new life which is Easter! Here is the schedule.
March 24: Palm Sunday: On this first day of Holy Week we begin with a celebration of Jesus’ Triumphal entry and parts of the Liturgy of the Passion of Christ. Our children will join in the parade of palms as we remember Jesus entering Jerusalem. We will carry through with the Liturgy of the Passion on each day of Holy Week, but on this day we begin reflecting on the sacrifice God is making for us all.
March 24: Palm Sunday Evening! Using a more contemporary approach this service will give all who attend a chance to reflect out loud or silently on all that God has done for us in Christ. As we begin Holy Week we will celebrate Jesus’ the entry into Jerusalem and share portions of an updated Liturgy of the Passion as Jesus goes inexorably toward the cross in Jerusalem. 7:00 PM in the Chapel
For 2013 we have planned a special series of services based on the Epistles of the New Testament. Each evening we will gather at 5:30 p.m. for a brief service of worship as we meditate on the meaning of Christ’s sacrifice together. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, for about a half an hour, we will find God’s Spirit together as we continue to reflect on the road Christ took to the cross and what it means for us today.
Monday, March 25 Hebrews 9:11-15 5:30 p.m. Chapel
Tuesday, March 26 I Corinthians 1:18-31 5:30 p.m. Sanctuary
Wednesday, March 27 Hebrews 12:1-3 5:30 p.m. Sanctuary
Maundy Thursday, March 28
On Maundy Thursday we will gather at 7:00 p.m. to share in the celebration of the Last Supper of our Lord and to try to experience for ourselves a true sense of that amazing night in the lives of Jesus’ disciples. We’ll share communion around the tables and remember the last night Jesus was with his disciples reading I Corinthians 11:23-36 and using selected readings from John 14-16.
Good Friday, March 29
On the day of Jesus’ death we stop to ponder the cross of Christ together at 7:00 p.m. Using some special art work we will also share a liturgy based on the death of Christ and share in the experience of hearing this story again-maybe this time with a new and different perception of the event which was the crucifixion. As we leave in silence the cross will loom over us all.
Holy Saturday, March 30—Great Vigil of Easter
This quiet service in which we ponder the love of God and the “time between” Christ’s death and his resurrection will be a new addition to our Holy Week and Easter observances. Readings from Genesis 1:1-2:4, Isaiah 55:1-11 and Romans 6:3-11 will be our Scriptures for the day.
EASTER SUNDAY, MARCH 31
Easter Sunrise Service: What a special morning Easter has become in our congregation! We will begin with what has become a beloved tradition in just two years—an Easter Sunrise Service! We’ll watch the sun come up as we gather in our courtyard at 6:30 a.m. to sing great hymns, new and old, that celebrate Resurrection! Theresa Quinn and Phil Sims have agreed to lead us in our music for this service, and we will share a special continental breakfast after the service. This is an informal time outside (we will move into the chapel if we encounter inclement weather) as we enjoy the new life Christ offers to us all!
Resurrection Jubilee Worship: The true joy of resurrection life will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. in our sanctuary as we sing our favorite hymns and hear again the old, old story of Jesus and his love. Our message will come from Isaiah 25 and Luke 24, and we will share in a special time of prayer together for our world to know the new life God has given to us all! Our Choir and musicians will lift our spirits until they soar with new life! We hope you’ll make a special effort to attend!