Holy Week contains very special important meaningful and coincidentally fun activities in our church.
Holy week starts with Palm Sunday on April 14th. At 10:30 a.m. we will have the Liturgy of the Palms in the Courtyard (weather permitting), and we will process into the Sanctuary for the Eucharist.
Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey, an animal that represented peace, and people laid down their cloaks and also branches of trees for him. Doing this showed the people felt he was worthy of the highest honors. In Jerusalem palm tress were very common.
Maundy Thursday is April 18th. We will observe the Liturgy for Maundy Thursday, The Holy Eucharist and the Stripping of the Altar at 7:00 p.m.
The ceremony of washing feet was also referred to as “the Maundy.” Maundy Thursday celebrations also commemorate the institution of the eucharist by Jesus “on the night he was betrayed.”
The very first Holy Eucharist included the very first communion. At the Last Supper, on that Thursday night so long ago, Jesus blessed and shared bread and wine and commanded his disciples to also do it in memory of him. The Holy Eucharist encompasses a whole lot more, come to Maundy Thursday and share with us. Some of the bread and wine, also called the sacrament, will be reserved for use on Good Friday.
The Stripping of the Alter is an ancient custom. In removing everything from the alter area and leaving it as bare as possible, it represents how Jesus was stripped of his garments and it helps us demonstrate the barrenness of the cross and emptiness of the world without Jesus.
Good Friday is April 19th.
- The Stations of the Cross in downtown Luling begin at Noon at the Thump Pavilion.
- The Proper Liturgy for Good Friday at 6:00 p.m.
Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus. It is interesting that the Holy Eucharist isn’t performed in this service. Communion is given using a reserved sacrament that was blessed at the Maundy Thursday service. This practice goes along with the Stripping of the Alter idea demonstrating that Jesus is not on the earth during this time.
Easter Sunday, April 21st:
The Stations of the Cross also known as the Way of the Cross, imitates the practice of visiting the places which recall a series of events at the end of Jesus’ life from his condemnation to his burial in the Holy Land by early Christian pilgrims. In Luling, we hold the Stations outdoors and walk between each station.
9:30 a.m. Easter Egg Hunt
10:00 a.m. Flowering of the Cross
10:00 a.m. Digging up the Alleluia
10:30 a.m. Festal Easter Eucharist
Easter is when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Faith in Jesus’ resurrection on the Sunday or third day following his crucifixion is at the heart of Christian belief.
We eat brunch as a way to kick off this great wonderful happy day! Food and festival go hand in hand.
The flowering of the cross has been traced back to the 6th century. It is an especially striking and beautiful way to reflect upon the resurrection, to symbolize the new life that emerges from Jesus’s death on Good Friday.
Digging up the Alleluia is a tradition we have borrowed from the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Eastern Orthodox Churches literally write the Alleluia on a board, bury the board on Shrove Tuesday and dig it up on Easter Sunday. We don’t use the word “Alleluia” during Lent. On Easter Sunday we can say the word again. It is a very graphic way of making the point that Christ is risen on this day. In our church the children bury the word Alleluia and special messages on strips of paper. They will dig them up from our garden. Alleluia literally means Praise the Lord in celebration of his rising from the dead.
Festal is defined as festival or celebration. The Festal Easter Eucharist Is very joyful and a celebration that really is the only response to Jesus’ rising. Easter Sunday is the start of 50 days of celebration in the Easter season.