To be "holy" means to be set apart - to not be common or usual, but unique and different. For the Church, the week leading up to Easter Sunday is Holy Week, the unique week, the week that is different from all other weeks. Consider attending our weekday services during Holy Week as a way to mark this time.
The word "Maundy" comes from a Latin word "mandatum" that means "command." On this day in human history Jesus said to his disciples: "A new command I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another."
Jesus said this immediately after having showed them how they were to love... by washing their feet. It was also on this day that the Lord instituted the Eucharist meal by celebrating the Passover with his disciples and using it as a sign of what he would do on the next day, on Good Friday. Please join us as we participate in those same two acts - washing one another's feet and celebrating the Lord's Supper together.
On the Friday prior to Easter, Good Friday, the Church traditionally marks the crucifixion, suffering, death, and burial of Jesus. Services on this day are a time of both somber reflection as well as preparation for the celebration of Easter morning. At All Saints, our service includes a dramatic reading of the crucifixion narrative from the gospel of Matthew, a brief homily, and a time of prayer. The congregation leaves in darkness and silence.
Although Good Friday is marked by sadness and mourning, it is not without joy. We hope that those who gather on Friday and leave in darkness will return on Sunday in the light of the celebration of Easter and the resurrection.
As with Christmas, Easter is both a day and a season. And the season of Eastertide begins on this "Sunday of Sundays" - Easter Sunday. 40 days of Lenten fasting and repentance are followed by 50 days of Easter celebration and thanksgiving concluding on the day of Pentecost (the fiftieth day). Easter cannot be done in a day. In the same way that Christ's incarnation at Christmas requires more than a day of reflection and celebration, Easter calls for an extended period to explore the depth and power of his resurrection.
Please join us on this day - at 7AM, 9AM, or 10:45AM - as we celebrate the exaltation of Christ, our King, who once was dead but now lives and reigns over us, his people - who with him are now the light of the world seeking his kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.