Have fun hunting for eggs on our campus! Children will break into age groups to hunt, and the church bell will mark the beginning of the hunt.
All Easter 'bucks' may be used to vote for your favorite animal in Maglaras Hall. In exchange for the bucks, children will receive a special treat. This year, the children will be purchasing a goat, pig, and a flock of chickens to help families in need all over the world. To read more about this program through Episcopal Relief and Development, click here.
All cash and coin received during Easter Sunday (up to $300) will help back the Easter bucks collected during the egg hunt. To read more, check out your bulletin during the Easter Sunday services at 9:00 am and 11:00 am.
NOTE: There is no Godly Pay class for children today. Families are invited to enjoy services and activities together today!
The Great Vigil of Easter is the most joyous and beautiful liturgy of the Church year. This most ancient of holy days is rich in symbolism, saturated with the word of God, and is the principal celebration of the resurrection of our Lord. Throughout the ages, it has been in this service that countless saints have proclaimed, “Alleluia, Christ is risen!”
The climax of the Christian year, the Great Vigil of Easter is a service of transition, bridging the time between Lent and Easter, Passion and Resurrection, great sorrow and resounding joy. The Vigil allows us, like Mary Magdalene, to visit the dark tomb only to find it empty, the light of the world having risen from the dead. It is an elaborate service, rich with scripture, music and ceremony.
The Vigil begins in total darkness, like the darkness of the tomb. The Paschal candle is lighted from the New Fire and carried into the darkened church as The Exsultet, the oldest distinctively Christian melody and an expansive hymn of praise, is sung. The readings from scripture chronicle the history of humankind’s relationship with God, from the creation and the fall to Israel’s deliverance and God’s renewed covenant with his children. These lessons are shortened versions of the final instruction given to the early Church’s catechumen, or candidates for baptism. Following these lessons, the baptismal candidates make their vows and participate in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ in the sacred waters of Baptism. Then, the celebrant says the Great Alleluia. The church is flooded with light, the tomb is empty, death is conquered! The veils of mourning are lifted, bells ring, the organ blasts out its mighty fanfare, and the people proclaim, “Alleluia, the Lord is risen, indeed.” Alleluia! Alleluia! Christ is risen and we are there to celebrate His triumph over the grave. In joy, we sing alleluias for the first time since Shrove Tuesday, rejoicing in the promise of life in Christ and celebrating the change of the course of creation from death to life.
In the Episcopal Church, Good Friday is one of the days in the church calendar set aside for “special acts of discipline and self-denial” (Book of Common Prayer, 17). Traditionally that has meant fasting and attendance at church some time during the day or evening.
Jesus’ first followers did not know – although they had been told – that there would be a resurrection. When he was crucified, died and buried, the disciples and the women who followed Jesus thought that Jesus’ ministry was ended and that their relationship with him was now over. Good Friday allows us to enter into the experience of apparent abandonment by God as Jesus expressed it in his cry from the cross, and as some of his followers must surely have felt during the interim between his crucifixion and resurrection.
We enter this time of silence and lamentation as a way of affirming and experiencing our own sense of abandonment and despair, which many experience from time to time, but are not always encouraged, allowed or enabled to voice. And within our shared pain, we discover a Christ who does not merely “fix” it, but who, instead, enters it, shares it, and redeems it.
It is believed that the term Maundy is derived from the Latin for Jesus’ new command to love one another (mandatum novum), or possibly the verb to wash (mundo). This is the day we follow the example of Jesus by humbly serving one another in the symbolic foot washing.
This is also the day we remember the institution of the Lord’s Supper. When Jesus made his last journey to Jerusalem, he did so for the express purpose of observing the Feast of the Passover with his disciples. At the Last Supper, Jesus broke bread and shared wine with his disciples. He told them that the bread was his body and the wine was his blood. He urged his disciples that when they eat and drank these things to “do this in remembrance of me.” The Eucharist on Maundy Thursday is a special commemoration of that Passover meal with Jesus and the disciples.
It is followed by the traditional stripping of the altar, during which all movable hangings and ornaments are removed to the sacristy. As the altar is stripped we begin to walk with Christ in his Passion, seeing all the signs of God’s presence which had filled our church slowly taken away. At the end, the church is bare, God seems absent, and we are left to walk alone with Christ the rest of the way to the cross. Therein, however, we find Christ’s presence an inescapable comfort.
Our early service begins at 11:00 in the Chapel with Blessing of the Palms. We will process into the Sanctuary for our Palm Sunday service.
Our early service begins at 9:00 at Lutheran Church of Hope with Blessing of the Palms. We will process down 10th Avenue, and continue into the Sanctuary for our Palm Sunday service. Godly Play for those 4 years - 5th grade, will begin immediately following the processional.