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Holy Week at Community United Methodist ChurchBy Don Ford
Special to The PREVIEW
Easter Sunday is fast approaching. It is the most meaningful of all Christian holidays. It is the day that Christians celebrate the exclusive fact that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, rose from the dead and is alive today. Easter Sunday was established by the The First Council of Nicaea (325 ce) which established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon following the March equinox. Usually that means Easter Sunday falls between March 22 and April 25. This year Easter Sunday is on April 20.
The events that lead up to the day are also very meaningful in Christian history and need to be remembered each year. During the week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, a number of meaningful events occurred that led to the whole spectrum of human emotions.
The events begin with the triumphful entry of Jesus into the capital of Judaism, Jerusalem. The people celebrated as he entered just as the prophets had predicted. It was the time of the Passover for all the Jewish people, of which Jesus was one. The Passover was the annual celebration in which the Jews celebrated the passing over their homes in Egypt by the angel of death. It was following that night that the Jews were set free. Thus it became their day of freedom, much like our Fourth of July.
Then, on what we call Holy or Maundy Thursday, Jesus instituted the Eucharist, the Last Supper. Shortly after supper, Jesus is betrayed and taken into custody. Thus begins the Passion of Christ that led to his execution by crucifixion. As a man, Jesus died, just as we all do. Three days later, on the first day of the week, Sunday, the tomb is empty and we celebrate that event as Easter Sunday with the time honored hymn by Charles Wesley: Christ the Lord Has Risen Today.
These events will be followed by the Community United Methodist Church.
• April 13, Palm Sunday, regular worship service hours, 8:15 a.m. and 11 a.m.
• April 17, Holy/Maundy Thursday, 6 p.m.
• April 18, Good Friday, 7 p.m.
• April 20 Easter Sunday Sunrise Service, 7 a.m. at football stadium, 8:15 a.m. and 11 a.m. regular worship service hours.
Celebrate these events at Community United Methodist Church or at the church of your choice.
First Assembly of God Church Easter Services
Easter Sunrise Service will be held Sunday, April 20, 6:30 a.m. at the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park, 4821A U.S. 84. Bring your chairs.
Coffee, hot chocolate and donuts will be served.
After the Sunrise Service, you are invited to join us at First Assembly of God Church for our 10:30 Easter Morning Worship and Communion Service.
Sunday School will be held at 9:30 a.m.
First Assembly of God Church is located at 110 Trinity Lane, phone 731-5767.
Easter Mass schedule for Immaculate Heart of Mary and Pope John Paul II
Holy Thursday, April 17
• Mass — 7 p.m. at JP II.
Good Friday, April 18
• Procession from IHM Church to JP II Church — 2 p.m.
• Stations of the Cross — JP II Prayer Garden — 4 p.m.
• Good Friday Liturgy at JP II — 5 p.m.
Holy Saturday, April 19
• Blessing of Easter Food Baskets — 12 p.m. at JP II.
• RCIA Rites — 1 p.m. at JP II.
• Holy Saturday – Easter Vigil — 8:30 p.m. at JP II.
Easter Sunday, April 20
• Easter Mass — 9 a.m. at JP II.
• Easter Mass — 11:15 a.m. at IHM.
Confession — call Father Don at 507-0622.
Restoration Fellowship celebrates resurrection
You are invited to come and celebrate The Resurrection of Jesus Christ Sunday, April 20, 9 a.m., at Restoration Fellowship, located at 264 Village Drive (behind City Market).
Witness an extraordinary drama, dance and musical presentation about Jesus and His resurrection.
Be moved by the most significant event in history. Experience the love of a Father and His Son. You are invited to come and celebrate with us.
Coffee lobby opens at 8:30 a.m. Doors will close at 9:30 a.m., when the production begins.
Free admission. Nursery available for ages 3 and under.
Holy Week services at St. Patrick’s:
A Journey with Christ
By Sally Neel
Special to The PREVIEW
Holy Week is the most sacred time of the Christian church year, celebrated by Christians all over the world. Holy Week takes us on a journey with Christ during the last week of his life on earth, from his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, to the Last Supper with his disciples, praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, his arrest, trial, and crucifixion on the cross, his burial, and ultimate victory on Easter Day. It begins this Sunday (Palm Sunday), April 13, and will be commemorated by ancient traditional liturgical services at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd.
• Palm Sunday, 10 a.m. Holy Eucharist. Service begins outside the church for the blessing of the palms and grand procession into the church.
• Tuesday, 11:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist and healing service
• Maundy Thursday, 6:30 p.m. celebration of foot washing and Holy Eucharist. Followed by the Agape Meal in the parish hall and the all-night prayer vigil at the altar of repose.
• Good Friday, 5:30 p.m. Music in Remembrance offered by “NightSong” — Sally Neel (piano/organ), Jessica Peterson (flute) and Heidi Tanner (violin).
• Good Friday Eucharist and veneration of the cross, 6 p.m.
• Holy Saturday, 8 p.m. Easter Vigil. Congregation is encouraged to bring bells to ring.
• Easter Sunday, 10 a.m. festival celebration.
The Holy Week journey begins on Palm Sunday as Jesus humbly enters Jerusalem on a donkey for the Jewish festival of Passover. He is greeted by wild, enthusiastic cheers and a festival celebration, blessing the one who comes in the name of the Lord. But Jesus’ ego is not puffed up by this wild display of adoration. Instead, he soon becomes enraged, turning over the tables of the mercenaries who have set up shop within the walls of the holy temple, seeking to line their pockets with money from the Jews who have traveled many miles on foot to celebrate Passover.
On Maundy Thursday, Christ’s journey to the cross continues. Jesus knows his days are numbered and meets with his beloved disciples in the upper room to break bread and drink wine with them. He demonstrates his deepest love for them by the humble act of washing their feet, and tries to prepare them for what lies ahead, knowing that they cannot fully understand. Jesus tells Judas, hired by the chief priests and elders to betray his whereabouts, to go and do what he must do, knowing that it will be only a matter of hours before he is arrested.
Following the Last Supper, Jesus retires to the garden of Gethsemane to pray. (St. Patrick’s offers an altar of repose in the church parish hall, where those who wish to may keep vigil with Christ, praying throughout the night.)
Jesus asks his disciples to stay awake and pray with him, but they are weak and tired and soon fall asleep. Jesus’ full humanity is demonstrated as he prays for God to spare him from the evil brutality that awaits him. And his divinity is equally shown as he completely and willingly subjects himself to be God’s ultimate sacrificial lamb, the perfect sacrifice for the whole world. The soldiers return with Judas in the middle of the night and Jesus is arrested and taken for trial.
On Good Friday, Jesus has been condemned to death, and is brutally whipped, beaten, mocked and nailed to a cross between two thieves. Yet his final words are words of forgiveness and love, ultimately commending his soul into God’s hands. The world turns dark and trembles as Christ’s spirit leaves his body, leaving the world completely devoid of God.
On Saturday, the world returns from darkness back to light as Christ is resurrected from the tomb. The Easter Vigil, one of the most ancient rites of the church, recalls the stories from the Old Testament that testify to God’s love and continual rescuing of humanity from evil, ultimately leading us to God’s final sacrifice and redemption through Christ. Bells are rung and joyous hymns are sung as the Light returns to the darkened world through God’s love and grace.
On Easter Day, Christians will celebrate Christ’s resurrection as he makes his first appearance to Mary outside the tomb. She is astonished to realize that evil did not triumph. Hope, love and grace endure, available forevermore to all of God’s children. Hallelujah.
All are welcome to attend and fully participate in services at St. Patrick’s.
“In God’s house, at God’s table, all are invited to be fed.”
For more information about St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, visit their website at www.stpatrickspagosa.org or call 731-5801.
Holy Week information
Services are printed as submitted by area churches. To submit your Easter service information for next week, please email information to firstname.lastname@example.org.