What is Holy Week?
“Holy Week” in the Christian Church is traditionally recognized as the week leading up to Easter morning. During this week, we remember the events of the last week of Jesus’ life. Many worship services and traditions have been created to do so.
What is Palm Sunday?
On the Sunday before Easter, we remember Jesus’ triumphant march into Jerusalem (as told in Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-40, and John 12:12-19). The disciples and crowds cut branches from the trees and threw their cloaks and coats onto the road, to show they believed Jesus was the fulfillment of God’s promise to restore a Jewish king to the throne. Many churches today start their Palm Sunday worship by marching with palms.
Our Palm Sunday service is Sunday April 14 at 10am.
What is Maundy Thursday?
On the Thursday before Easter, we remember Jesus’ last supper with the disciples (as told in Matthew 26:17-30, Mark 14:12-16, and Luke 22:7-14) and his washing of their feet (John 13:1-20). The word “maundy” likely comes from the Latin “mandatum,” meaning “commandment,” from John 13:34: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” Many churches today celebrate Maundy Thursday with a meal and with foot- or hand-washing.
Our Maundy Thursday service is Thursday April 18 at 6:30pm.
What is Good Friday?
On the Friday before Easter Sunday, we remember Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, trial, crucifixion, and death. This is usually the most solemn service of the Christian year, with low light and mournful music. This worship service usually focuses heavily on Scripture readings and songs, and does not usually include communion.
Our Good Friday service is Friday April 19 at 6:30pm.
What is a Passion Walk?
The Saturday before Easter has always been an odd celebration in the Christian calendar. Some churches observe a Holy Saturday service, which is a smaller version of the Good Friday service and ends in mournful waiting for Sunday to come. At Grace Lutheran, we offer a Passion Walk, which is a retelling of Jesus’ last hours by walking through our Northeast neighborhood and reading Scripture at certain places along the way. The walk usually takes about an hour and covers a little over two miles.
Our Passion Walk takes place on Saturday April 20 at 4pm.
What is the Easter Vigil?
On the Saturday before Easter, some churches celebrate an Easter Vigil. Often starting close to or after sunset, this worship service tells the stories of salvation throughout Scripture and ends with the joyous proclamation of Jesus’ resurrection. Easter Vigils can be ornate and go on for several hours (with champagne at the end!), or they can be more simple but celebratory. The Queer Grace Community is organizing a Vigil this year, focusing on stories of dark days, expectant hope, death to life, and abundant love to come – both in our own lives and in the Bible. All those who affirm and celebrate the lives of queer and trans Christians are welcome to join us.
Our QGC Easter Vigil takes place on Saturday April 20 at 6pm.
What is Easter Sunday?
Easter Sunday is the culmination of the season of Lent and the joyous proclamation of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Easter services are bouyant and celebratory.
Our Easter Sunday service takes place Sunday April 21st at 10am.
Why does Easter move around so much in the calendar?
Christians take the date of Easter based on Jewish calculations for Passover (since the last meal Jesus shared with his disciples was on Passover). The Western and Eastern churches use different calculations, which is why our Orthodox friends often celebrate a week or two after us. In the Western church, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, so Easter can fall anywhere from March 22nd to April 25.