Each year, Holy Week at St. James provides unique opportunities to worship that are active in nature. Last Sunday, we began with a palm waving procession that involved the entire congregation. All generations participated as we marched into the sanctuary with noise makers and palms singing “All Glory, Laud, and Honor.” To be sure, it was a lot of fun - organized chaos.
Tonight (April 18 at 7:30 p.m), worship continues to involve the FULL participation of everyone gathered. Instead of worshiping in pews, we will sit at tables throughout the sanctuary. This innovative worship, developed at St. James, involves eating light snacks and drinking. We share a table fellowship as we gather to celebrate the last supper that Jesus had with his disciples before his crucifixion. We will hear again the commandment to love one another, as command Jesus gives as table as he washed his disciples’s feet. At the end of worship, after we share the sacrament with each other, everyone helps to strip the altar. Once again, everyone gets involved as we remove tables, chairs, paraments, altar ware, etc. We leave in silence as we head into Good Friday.
On Good Friday, there are three opportunities to participate in worship. At 10:00 a.m. we offer an interactive worship for children that is designed just for them. At noon, we gather around the cross with readings as we place nails into a large wooden cross. At 7:30 p.m., traditional Tenebrae worship involves the use of prayers, scripture, story-telling, songs, and sermon to reflect upon the cross and Jesus’s death.
On Holy Saturday, at 8:00 a.m. we gather not to worship but to decorate the emptied sanctuary for our Easter celebration. Many hands make light work and we could use yours to help with the many tasks needed to get ready for Sunday’s worships.
It is a busy time but one that I look forward to each year. Lutheran worship has long encouraged participation from the entire congregation. In these days of Holy Week, we take it to the next level. I hope that you will be able to take part and that these unique opportunities might lift your spirits and strengthen your faith. I look forward to seeing you.
in Christ’s Light,