The services during the eight days from Palm (or Passion) Sunday through Easter are at the heart of a church’s worship life. During these days we “retell” and remember the story of salvation in such a dynamic fashion that we become aware of our own involvement in God’s story.
We begin the eight days on March 29th, Passion Sunday. As has become the custom at St. John’s, we will “walk” with Jesus through the last seven days of his earthly life. In our hour-long worship service we will begin with hearing of his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and end with the placement of the guards at his tomb. Our two services – 9 and 10:30 AM – will be identical.
We gather again on Wednesday, April 1st, for our last Lenten Taize service – with a light supper and Bible Study at 6:15 PM, in Hartford Hall – and brief worship in the sanctuary, beginning at 7 PM. As we’ve said throughout Lent, come for the supper and study, or come for the worship, or come for both.
Our Maundy Thursday service will be at 7 PM, on April 2nd, in our sanctuary. We will hear the reflections of Jesus’ twelve disciples, and then stand in groups of twelve to receive communion. Our Chancel Choir will participate in this service.
Two services will be offered on Good Friday. The first is the annual Ecumenical Service, at noon, at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church (corner of Locust and Hale Streets in Dover). Pastor Mark will be one of those providing leadership for this service. The second service will take place at St. John’s, at 7 PM, and will be a “Solemn Service of Prayer.”
We pull out all the stops on Easter to celebrate the resurrection of our Christ. First Fire (a brief service focused around the lighting of the Christ Candle) will begin at our outdoor chapel (snow conditions permitting!) at 6 AM. That will conclude as we process into the sanctuary for the 6:30 AM Sunrise Service, which will be led by the pastor and a couple high school youth.
Our United Methodist Men will serve their usual delicious Easter Breakfast following the Sunrise Service – at about 7:30 AM. There is no charge for the breakfast, but donations are accepted.
The organ will play at its grandest, and the choir will sing their best, at the two Easter Celebrations at 9 and 11 AM (note the later beginning time for the second service). These are wonderful opportunities to invite friends, neighbors and family members to join you for worship.
Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed!!