At First Lutheran Church in Cleveland, the congregation invites the community to join them for the four special services celebrated in Holy Week.
The first service is Palm Sunday. This year it is celebrated on Sunday, April 13, with two services at 8:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Holy Communion will be an integral part of both services.
Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem just five days before His crucifixion. The name comes from the large crowd which followed Him into Jerusalem, waving palm fronds and proclaiming Him the “Son of David,” also known as “Messiah.”
The service will begin outside the church, waving palms as members enter for worship.
The second in the Holy Week services in Maundy Thursday. The name “maundy” comes from the words of Jesus, “Mandatum novum” (“a new commandment,” John 13:34). Maundy Thursday (also known as Holy Thursday) reminds us of the events in the upper room the night before Jesus died.
Three of the gospels focus on the institution of the Lord's Supper and the eating of the Passover meal.
At First Lutheran, the “Lord’s Supper” or “Holy Communion” is celebrated as part of the worship which will take place Thursday, April 17, at 7 p.m. At the conclusion of the service, elders will strip the altar bare in preparation of that most solemn of worship services, Good Friday.
“On Good Friday, which commemorates the suffering and death of our Lord, a solemn service commencing at 7 p.m. takes the congregation back two millennia when the very Lamb of God, innocent and without blemish, gave Himself up as atonement for all the sins of the world. Because of the solemnity of this service, the congregation leaves after the service in silence,” said a church representative.
The final celebration of Holy Week is Easter Sunday.
“Oh happy day when the Lord rose again, the first fruits of the Father. The word ‘Easter’ and the German ‘Ostern’ come from a common source, referring to the sun rising in the east. In other words, the word referred to the celebration of the spring sun, when all things returned to life. This symbolism was transferred to the resurrection of Christ, who brings us new life.
“Easter celebrates Christ's victory over sin, death, and the devil, as well as the promise to us of everlasting life,” the representative continued. “There will be two services: 8:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. with Holy Communion served at both thanks to the loving hands of the ladies of our altar guild.”
All are welcome.