It’s Holy Week!
“Holy Week” is sacred space on the church’s calendar. If Lent–the 40 days prior to Easter–constitutes personal reflection over our sins and need for God, in Holy Week the church relives Jesus’ own period of celebration, conflict, service, suffering, death, and resurrection while in Jerusalem 2000 years ago.
At Watsontown United Methodist Church, we are offering MANY worship experiences and faith-building opportunities this week. Here is a brief description of the many services, their days, their times, and some points of content.
Worship on Holy Thursday commemorates the supper that Jesus shared with his disciples before his crucifixion. On this night, Jesus washed the disciples’ feet (see John 13:1-17) and enjoined them to regularly celebrate what has become the Lord’s Supper (see Mark 14:22-25). Watsontown UMC will hold a service for Holy Thursday on April 15, 2014 at 7:00PM in the church’s multipurpose room. This experience will be quite out of the ordinary. The room will be arranged with 4 separate prayer stations through which participants will rotate throughout the service. There will be plenty of standing, moving about, and interacting, though chairs will be available for those who need. For an intimate, artistic, out-of-the-box connection with God, come to WUMC on Thursday night.
Worship on ‘Good Friday’ is moving, powerful, and solemn. Good Friday recounts the particulars of Jesus’ trial, passion (‘passion’ is another word for suffering), and death. For Good Friday services, sanctuaries are often stripped bare; talk of the resurrection is often excluded as the church waits for Easter to come. Watsontown UMC will hold a Tenebrae (Latin for ‘Darkness’) Service on Friday April 18 at 7:00PM in the church’s multipurpose room. The central feature of Tenebrae services is a gradual extinguishing of seven or fourteen candles and the Christ candle, images of the betrayal by the disciples and of Christ’s death on the cross. With the extinguishing of the lights, the room itself also becomes progressively darker. For a powerful with God through the pervasive symbols of darkness and light, come to the WUMC Tenebrae service.
A long tradition in the early church was to hold a prayer and worship vigil from Saturday night into Sunday morning. This was called the Great Paschal (Easter) Vigil, and on it were commemorated all of the events that are now separately observed on different days in Holy Week. Traditionally pre-dawn, Watsontown UMC will host a casual time of prayer and reflection on Saturday April 19 at 7:00PM. This ‘vigil’ will include small processions of light, prayer, brief readings, and opportunity for personal reflection before Easter Day. The experience itself will be little more than 30 minutes.
Easter Sunday is the celebration of Christ’s conquest over death through the glorious resurrection. At WUMC, services are held at 8:00AM and 10:30AM as normal. In addition, an Easter Brunch will occur in the multipurpose room at 9:00AM. This brunch is Pot-Luck; please bring a dish to share with everyone. But, even if you do not have a dish, we invite you to stay, eat, and get to know some people anyway. In addition, there will be an egg hunt for the children in our Sunday School wing!