Yesterday was the beginning of Holy Week. I am excited we get to experience our first in-person Holy Week together after needing to spend Holy Week online last year. Next year, I anticipate our Holy Week will be back to normal, but I am thankful we can gather together again this year. It was mighty strange to be in my first Holy Week and Easter at this church and the room was almost empty. I know it was odd for you to observe Holy Week and Easter at home. With that in mind, I wanted to be sure you knew what to expect for Holy Week this year.
Maunday Thursday will be in the sanctuary at 7 pm. It will be a traditional gathering in which we will read scripture, hear some music, and receive Holy Communion, before stripping the sanctuary as we normally would for Good Friday.
Good Friday will be an evening of Walking with the Christ Through Loss. We will gather in the prayer garden. We will read through the Passion narrative as we normally would, but this will not be the traditional Tenebrae gathering. It will be interspersed with moments where, through prayer and symbolic reflection, we acknowledge the losses we have suffered this past year and pray for God’s healing from those losses.
Easter Sunday, marking the beginning of the season of Easter, will be a joyous celebration of the resurrection of Jesus outside on the church lawn next to the sanctuary. We will be wearing masks and social distancing and, being outside, we will invite everyone to sing our Easter Hymns together. We will also get to celebrate the baptism of one of our young people on this day before receiving Holy Communion at the table of the risen Christ.
It is going to be an incredible week at Chapel Hill UMC and I hope you can join us.
Grace and peace,
Rev. J.D. Allen