From Ashes to Fire, Our Lenten Journey to Easter. The Three Days celebration is the high point of the church’s year, as we gather over three days to contemplate the passion and resurrection of Jesus. The celebration begins with Maundy Thursday and Jesus’ new commandment (Latin = mandatum) to love one another as he has loved us. The footwashing story and the last supper are at the center of this evening’s worship. Good Friday moves us into solemn reflection on Jesus’ suffering and death. And on Saturday evening, the eve of Easter, we begin the resurrection celebration with the Easter Vigil. Easter itself is a fifty day celebration, beginning on Easter Sunday and culminating on the Day of Pentecost.
Here is our worship schedule for the Three Days: Mar 29 – Maundy Thursday at 7:00 PM Mar 30 – Good Friday at 1:00 PM and 7:00 PM Mar 31 – Easter Vigil at 5:00 PM Apr 1 – Easter Sunday at 6:30 AM (Sunrise), 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM
The Easter Vigil is rich with symbols of our faith. It begins with Light, as the Paschal Candle is processed into the church, bringing the resurrection light of Christ into the darkness. Then Stories of the Faith are shared, reminding us of the saving work of God from creation up to the resurrection. We gather around the font to celebrate Baptism and remember the promise that we are joined to the life of Christ in his dying and rising. And, finally, we take our place at the Table and are fed by the presence of Christ at the first Eucharist of Easter.
The midweek evening prayer services during Lent this year at Trinity are a preparation for the Easter Vigil. The central reading each week is one of the Stories of the Faith, told at the Easter Vigil. Feb 21: Genesis 1 – Creation Feb 28: Genesis 7-9 – The Great Flood Mar 7: Exodus 14 – Deliverance at the Red Sea Mar 14: Isaiah 55 – Invitation to Abundant Life Mar 21: Daniel 3 – Deliverance from the Fiery Furnace
It has been exciting to see so many of you on Ash Wednesday, at the Simple Suppers, and at Evening Prayer on Wednesdays. I look forward to continuing the journey with you through these stories of deliverance and salvation. I will reach out for
help in telling these stories at the Easter Vigil, so that we can tell the stories together and to one another, hearing them afresh even as we enjoy their familiarity.
I invite you to come to the Easter Vigil this year, and if you have not participated before, to get a taste of it. Symbol, story, song, and action come together in a strong way to proclaim the promise of our new life in Christ!
Blessed Lent! Pr. Michael Mueller, Interim Pastor