Holy Week Services at Church of the Messiah, Fredericksburg - April 9-16, 2017
April 9, 2017
8:30 AM (Rite I) & 11 AM (Rite II) The Blessing of the Palms
Procession into the Church
The Reading of the Passion Holy Communion
This day begins as a triumphant day of public devotion to Jesus. In heart and mind we join the great crowd that gathered at Jerusalem to honor Jesus as King. We do this by carrying and waving Palm branches, a sign of victory and triumph. At the same time, as we welcome Jesus into Jerusalem, we are confronted with the truth that Jesus, our Messiah and King, is something different and something more than we ever expected Him to be. This gets fleshed out as we hear the Passion narrative (the account of His betrayal, trial, suffering and death), the mood changes, and we begin to look forward to the events of Good Friday.
April 13, 2017
The Lordʼs Supper Stripping of the Altar Prayer Watch
Why do we have Holy Communion, or the Lordʼs Supper, as the main service of worship each week? Because Jesus, on the Thursday of Holy Week, called the disciples together and shared one last meal with them in which He left them His last will and testament in the bread and wine, namely His Body and Blood for the forgiveness of sins. He then instructed
His disciples to continue to observe this Sacrament in which He promises to be present to us to freely and unconditionally forgive us our sins. After Communion, there will be a dramatic stripping of the Altar to remind us of the violent manner in which Jesus was “betrayed into the hands of sinful men.” Before we leave this service in silence, there will be a period of time available to sit in silence in the Lordʼs presence, to “keep watch” with Him, praying silently or reading the Scriptures. The church will remain open until 9 AM on Friday for those who wish to stay and keep watch.
April 14, 2017
12 PM - Good Friday Liturgy
The Reading of the Passion
The Veneration of the Cross
Holy Communion from the Reserved Sacrament
7:30 PM - Evening Prayer, Rite II
This is the day that Jesus dies for us. He offers, in great pain and suffering, the one “full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world.” Come hear how in this most loving act of Jesus, He gives His all that the powers of evil are conquered and we receive salvation. This service includes the reading of the Passion according to John, the Solemn Collects, The Veneration of the Cross, and Holy Communion from the Reserved Sacrament.
As the Good Friday Liturgy is only to be celebrated once, at 7:30 PM we will be having an Evening Prayer service complete with Good Friday readings, sermon, and prayers specific to the day.
The Great Vigil of Easter
April 15, 2017
Holy Saturday - 8 PM
The Lighting of the Paschal Candle Reading of the Prophecies
Renewal of Baptismal Vows
The First Holy Communion of Easter
This dramatic service begins with the church in
darkness. Seemingly, the powers of sin and
death have won. But then the New Fire is
lighted, symbolizing the overcoming of sin and
death by Christ, who is the Light of the World. Then the Paschal Candle is lighted, and a procession is formed to go to the sanctuary. There the Paschal Candle is blessed, and Godʼs victory over evil is celebrated in the reading of the Exsultet and the reading of the Prophecies of Christʼs victory over sin and death. We all renew our Baptismal vows and the joy of Christʼs resurrection is reflected in the First Holy Communion of Easter.
Easter - The Day of Resurrection
April 16, 2017
8:30 AM (Rite I) & 11AM (Rite II) Festival Celebration of Holy Communion
The enemies of God are defeated. The dark powers of the spiritual underworld are overcome. Jesus is alive and in being raised makes the promise to His followers, “Because I live, you will live also.” He is raised, not with a word of vengeance and retaliation for a world that wasted Him, but simply with a word of forgiveness and salvation for the whole world. So Easter is a time for great rejoicing! Come out and join us as we praise our Lord Jesus Christ whom God raised from the dead!