Easter Services 2015
On Thursday evening some of Scots congregation, together with several visitors, gathered around a long table at the front of the church. It was a time to remember the Last Supper that Jesus had with His disciples. As Jesus did, we shared bread and wine, passing these elements to each other around the table. Usually, when we eat the bread and drink the wine, we do it with joy. On Maundy Thursday, however, our memory was tinged with sadness. It was a sacred time and place, a moving reminder of the great love and humble service of Jesus. During the Last Supper, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. We enacted this demonstration of love and service by washing the hands of our neighbour with hand wipes. We found this action to be a very intimate and humbling gesture which reminded us that we should love and serve one another in humility.
There was no Benediction because the events of the night do not conclude until Easter morning resurrection.
On this day, Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. We listened to the story, told with readings from John 18 and 19, interspersed with actions and sound which brought great reality to the events of that day. Candles were snuffed out, a large wooden cross constructed and draped with black cloth and a crown of thorns. Our response was enacted with a Ritual of Sorrow. We were invited to go forward and stand or kneel at the cross, touch the cross and call to mind something which has caused great pain. Then, by symbolically placing a nail at the foot of the cross, give up all the pain and sorrow to Christ.
Again, there was no Benediction and we left the sanctuary in silence.
Easter Day (Celebrating Life)
On Easter Day, we celebrated the outcome of what began on Good Friday. Unlike Friday when we remembered death, today we celebrated life! The service began with the ancient Liturgy of Light and the blessing of the Easter Candle, which symbolizes Christ’s breaking of the darkness of sin and death to bring us all the Easter victory. (The Easter Candle will shine as our symbol of the resurrection throughout the Easter season, at all baptisms, all funerals and at communions.) The whole Easter Day service was a joyous celebration, with shouts of “He is risen, He is risen indeed!” and exclamations of “Hallelujah!”, together with joyous songs and music and the word of God that tells of the victory of Christ for us all. The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion) was a joyful remembrance of the “God of unfailing love, a celebration that death has been defeated forever.”
This service ended with a special Easter Blessing and we departed with joy in our hearts to love and serve.
Once again our Easter Services were very moving remembrances of the death and resurrection of Jesus, inspiring and challenging us once more to follow Jesus in love and service.
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