“Holy Week is a time to be with Jesus in his time of trial and betrayal. May we recognize that Jesus’ crucifixion was not a one-time event in history, but that he continues to be crucified each and every day alongside the poor, oppressed and marginalized of this world who die before their time as a consequence of human sinfulness. Let us accompany Jesus as he walks with the crucified people of history, offering his love, compassion and desire for justice to a world still so in need of redemption. For beyond Calvary lies Easter Sunday.” – From an e-newsletter this week from Reunion Church Boston
People frequently mention that their church’s service during Holy Week is one of their favorite in the year. We’ve put together a list of some of these services, with an intentional focus on the breadth of Christian backgrounds and traditions. This week, we encourage you to go somewhere new to remember the significance of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and be enriched by different forms of Christian worship in our city!
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:25)
*Note that this is only a few of the many amazing worship services taking place in the Greater Boston area this week – send yours to Kelly Fassett, firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration of your service to be added to this list!
The Calvin Institute for Christian Worship has put together a great resource guide for planning your Holy Week Services, including planning resources, song resources, visual art resources, and devotions. Click on the link above to check it out!
After nearly two years, the transformed interior of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross will be once again open to the public on Palm Sunday, April 14.
Thursday 4/18, 6:00pm and 8:00pm at Old South Church, Boston
This service combines modern jazz music with ancient liturgy of Tenebrae, where the stories of Jesus’s passion are read, and after each reading a candle is extinguished. The service ends in darkness, and the congregation listens to the repetition of 39 dissonant chimes of low handbells, symbolizing the suffering of Jesus on the night of his arrest.
Thursday 4/18, 6:00 to 7:30pm at Reservoir Church, Cambridge
Join us for a family potluck meal and service. Maundy Thursday, or Holy Thursday, gets its name from the Latin translation of John 13:34: “I give you a new commandment” (or, in Latin, “Mandatum novum“). It was as Jesus washed the feet of his friends and followers that he said these words. We’ll share a meal together. Then, Dan Archibald will tell the story of how Jesus washed his disciples’ feet before they shared their last meal together. Next, we’ll take part in a simple Communion: commemorating this last meal by sharing bread and wine at our tables. Following this, the children will lead the way in washing the feet of those in attendance. We’ll finish with a final prayer before ending our time together.
Friday 4/19 at 12:00pm at St John Missionary Baptist Church, Roxbury
You are invited to this year’s Good Friday Service to meditate on the Seven Last Words of Christ. There will be seven preachers from many different Christian traditions!
7:00pm at 85 Bishop Allen Drive, Cambridge
Join Hilltop Church, Pentecostal Tabernacle and Aletheia Church for a combined Good Friday service at the Christian Life Center (85 Bishop Allen Drive), Cambridge, which is owned by St. Paul AME Church.
Saturday 4/20 from 4:00 to 7:00pm at the Mill Church in Millbury
Come and celebrate the Passover Seder from a Christian/Messianic perspective on Saturday April 20. Passover is the first of the Feasts of the Lord, as instructed in Leviticus 23 in the Bible. It is followed by the Feast of Unleavened bread and First fruits also in Leviticus 23 in the Bible. Yeshua (Yehoshua or Jesus) kept the Passover and a detailed account is provided in the Gospels (that many Christians know of as the Last Supper, before His crucifixion). During the Last Supper, Jesus said, “This do in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:19b). If you would like to know more, please join us to discover the richness of the scriptures and a deeper understanding of who Jesus is and what He did.
Saturday 4/20 at 6:30pm at the Church of the Advent, 30 Brimmer Street, Boston
The most dramatic and moving service in the entire church year, a service of waiting — waiting in darkness for light to dawn, waiting in the tomb of death for life to be born — then receiving that life in baptism and the Holy Eucharist. Article about the Great Vigil from The Living Church, February 2010: Waiting for the Light
Saturday April 20, 8:00pm to 12:00am at the Boston Temple, 105 Jersey Street
The Church of the Cross Easter Vigil marks our passage from the darkness of the tomb to the brilliant light of Jesus’ resurrection. Filled with original art created for this night (poetry, music, visual art, dance, etc.) and congregational song, this is a celebration of grand proportions. The Anglican service features readings from scripture that highlight God’s great work throughout salvation history, beginning in the work of Creation and reaching its height in the resurrection of Christ. Come join us as we reflect, pray, and raise a joyful song to God!
Friday April 26 at 7:15pm at St Mary’s Parish in Cambridge
The beautiful hymns of this service express these feeling of grief and loss through a dialog of prayer between the Virgin Mary and Jesus. Ultimately, they show that the tomb of Christ is not a place of death and decay, but a source of life and hope. The sorrow of the crucifixion gradually transforms into joy as the faithful process around the Church with the eptitaphios (a symbolic tomb) and pass under it on the way back inside, symbolizing Jesus’ passover from death to life as He breaks the gates of Hades and frees the souls of the righteous trapped there. Join the St. Mary’s Orthodox community to celebrate this moving, joyful service which invites us to enter into the profound mystery of humanity’s redemption.
Happening All Week
Daily in Lexington and Wilmington
The conversations we need to have with Jesus.
Initiating a conversation is a commitment to someone—and a good conversation can change things. Whether it’s your first, or your thousandth, or your first-in-a-while conversation, our 2019 Sacred Spaces is designed to help you talk with Jesus. During Holy Week, rooms at our Lexington and Wilmington campuses will be transformed into spaces for guided meditation, prayer, and reflection. These spaces are designed to be experienced alone (rather than as a group activity) and as your own time allows. Everyone is welcome. You are invited.
Reflective Art for This Week
Artist for the Artwork Below: Adrian Johnston, Park Street Church