Holy Week For Everyone
Holy Week is that most intense and critical time of the Church Year. For the clergy it makes the Christmas season look easy. Holy Week is demanding spiritually, physically and emotionally. We are taken with Jesus to the depths of betrayal, death and hell, only to come out the other side in the light and power of the Sunday Resurrection.
This year we are doing all we can to make Holy Week a powerful experience for people of all ages.
First, there will be a complete preview of Holy Week for adults in the Kinloch Room at Tool Time (9:20am) on Palm Sunday April 1. Our goal for this tool time is to not only explain what will happen during each day in Holy Week, but why do we do what we do? What does it mean? What is its significance?
With that said, let me briefly highlight Holy Week 2012:
Palm Sunday, April 1
8:00 am HC I Palm Procession
8:45 am Family HC II*
9:20 am Holy Week Plenary*
10:30 am HC II* Palm & Donkey Procession
6:00 pm HC II* Contemporary Worship Palm Procession
Palm Sunday begins Holy Week. Since the 4th century this day has been observed by processions and the blessing of palm branches to recall Christ’s royal entry into Jerusalem. Wen-Jen the donkey will make his way back to St. Michael’s for this most amazing visual Sunday. Then the service will take a dramatic turn as at the end of the service we will read the passion of Jesus to prepare us for the fullness of Holy Week.
Maundy Thursday, April 5
All Parish Dinner begins at 5:30 pm!
This will be a night that is like the first Maundy Thursday.
We will begin in the Kinloch Room for an all age dinner at 5:30 pm, then move into the upstairs chapel to live out the mandate of Maundy Thursday by washing each other’s feet. Then we will proceed into the sanctuary for the Last Supper and stripping of the altar with choir and organ. We will leave in silence as we prepare for the Good Friday Crucifixion
Good Friday, April 6
The 4th Annual Stations of the Cross through the City will begin at White Point Gardens. Join us as we live out those final steps Jesus took to Golgotha with His cross on His back. Stops for Biblical meditation will include the High Battery, Hazel Parker Park, the Old Exchange, Washington Park etc. We will end in the sanctuary of First Scots.
We have also learned that parishioners desire having a traditional Good Friday liturgy in the Sanctuary during the daylight hours. So we will have a 3pm Good Friday Liturgy in the Sanctuary. (Nursery Provided). This will be in addition to our 7pm service. (No Nursery Provided) Both will be very similar, though the 7pm service will feature the music of the organ and choir.
Holy Saturday, April 7
All the clergy will be in their offices for one on one prayer time/ confession with anyone who would like quality time with the clergy from 9am-3pm (Please call to make an appointment with Jeanine – 724-7586)
Easter Sunday, April 8
We begin at Sonrise on the high battery with our partners in ministry from First Baptist Church. Festival Eucharists at 8 and 10:30 (identical services in the sanctuary) with the Rector preaching and overflow space live simulcast in the Kinloch Room of the Belser Building.
* Nursery Provided
6:30 am Easter Sunrise Service on the Battery
7:30 am Choir with Orchestra – Messiah
8:00 am Festival Eucharist II*
9:20 am Easter Egg Hunt*
Ages 2 – 4 (Rectory Garden)
5k-5th grade (Churchyard)
10:00 am Choir with Orchestra – Messiah
10:30 am Festival Eucharist II*
6:00 pm Festival Eucharist II* Contemporary Worship
Tips for Worship during Holy Week, Easter and Beyond!
As I said above, Holy Week is an amazing experience at St. Michael’s. It affects our hearts, minds and yes even our stamina. As it should, there is no other season of the church year that is so emotionally painful and victorious at the same time! With that being said, let me offer you some tips to make worship the most edifying. These tips come from both my thoughts and a recent article in the Anglican Digest:
Get to bed early the night before! It’s far easier to focus on word and sacrament when we are fully rested. Giving the Holy Spirit an awakened heart and mind will allow us to receive the fullness of what’s being given.
Pray on the way to church! This is something I used to do when I lived a distance from church. When I prayed on my way it prepared me unlike anything else I did, for worship.
Arrive early and settle in. Being early allows you to breathe, relax and push aside distractions.
Pre-view the Scripture readings so that when the readings are read, you will have been familiar with them
Stay focused during the sermon. Make intentional choices not to look at the person walking in or staring at the baby ahead of you. We all have a responsibility to listen to the word read and proclaimed as we discern the voice of God in our lives.
Reflect on the sermon afterwards. This is a great habit for couples, and their children, for friends, for neighbors, on the way home, at lunch etc.
Follow up with the preacher about the sermon! Preachers love receiving feedback, through questions, comments etc. In addition you might provide some much needed encouragement to the preacher who is wondering why he or she spends so much time in preparing sermons to which no one visibly responds to.
Review the sermon late in the week. What a great discipline to do mid-week. Check how much you remember and more importantly how you are living out the message of the sermon in your daily life. By the way, sermons are available 24 hours a day on our website… www.stmichaelschurch.net/listen-to-the-sermons.