Here at Emmaus Lutheran Church, our Holy Week Schedule is:
Maundy Thursday, April 2, 6:00 p.m.
Good Friday, April 3, 6:00 p.m.
Easter Sunday, April 5, 10:30 a.m.
We invite you to join us during this most holy of times.
A curious thing has happened in recent history of the Church in America. Holy Week and Easter has been eclipsed by Christmas. What is Christmas? It is the celebration of Jesus’ birth, in fact the celebration of the miracle of God becoming flesh. However, this would do us no good if God in the flesh did not also suffer, die and rise again for our salvation. If there would be Christmas, but no Easter, Christmas would only mean the coming of a visitor, but not a savior.
Throughout history, the primary festival of the Church has been Easter, but even here there is more to it than just Easter. Rather, it is a celebration and remembrance of Jesus’ passion for our sakes. Thus, the celebration is actually over a week long. The celebration of Jesus’ passion starts with Palm Sunday. This day is set aside in the Church to remember how Jesus entered into Jerusalem, hailed as a king, in order to ultimately take His crown of thorns and ascend his throne on the cross. The next major celebration is Maundy or Holy Thursday. The term “Maundy” comes from the Latin for mandate, as Jesus gave the mandate to love one another. This day remembers also Jesus’ institution of the Lord’s Supper, which was tied directly to His Passion. It was after this, on what we would call Thursday night, but was part of Friday by the Jewish calendar, Jesus was then arrested. Good Friday is then the time that we specifically commemorate Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross. It was there that Jesus bore the guilt for all mankind and took God’s wrath for our sins that we might be forgiven. Finally, Easter is the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. Because Jesus rose from the dead, as God’s people, we are now promised eternal life with Him.
These events are the core of the Gospel, of God’s salvation being won for us through Jesus. This is what Christianity is all about. Let us reclaim these as the central celebrations of the Church year.
We encourage you to take time this Holy Week to celebrate Jesus’ passion, suffering, death, and resurrection.