"Passion" comes from the Latin Passio meaning "to suffer, or endure." Holy Week focuses on the saving acts of Christ. We start with Palm Sunday, the glorious arrival of the long-awaited Messiah. The crowd shouts "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!" Monday-Wednesday the Church focuses on the cross, on the grace God gives us.
Maundy Thursday is a celebration of the institution of the Lord's Supper. In the upper room Christ bids His followers to "Take, eat and drink for the remembrance of me." This is the new covenant between God and the world. It is Jesus' own body and blood that nourishes us. The service ends, however, with Christ's arrest, but it is clear that we are the ones convicted. The altar is stripped just as Jesus was stripped and condemned to die.
Good Friday is the day Jesus bears the sins of the world as He carries the cross of shame to Golgatha. There is no celebration. No singing, no Communion, nothing but grief and sorrow as the same crowd shouts, "Crucify! Crucify!" The earth shakes and trembles.
Holy Saturday has long been considered the holiest night of the year. The Easter Vigil gathers all believers to keep vigilant while Christ passes over (Passover) from death to life! St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church, St. Paul, MN, has invited our parish to join them in their 7:00pm Easter Vigil. If you need a ride, let Pastor Emily know!
Easter Sunday, the day that anchors all days, gathers the Church to praise God and the crowd sings songs of Alleluia! Christ is risen! For the next 50 days the Church celebrates the great Victory of Christ! Death has lost its sting. All who have been baptized into Christ have become part of the Body. Alleluia!!! Truly, nothing else in all the world matters!
Glory to God in the highest and peace to God's people on earth! Alleluia, indeed!