Good Friday from First
Good Friday Tenebrae 7 PM
This 20-minute service will 'premier' on both Facebook and YouTube this evening, so if one crashes, the other should still work. The service of Tenebrae (Shadows) recounts the story of Christ's suffering and death on a cross. Unlike the services we have held in the church sanctuary, this service does not include Psalm 22, the Suffering Servant reading from Isaiah, or the anointing of hands with myrrh. It does, however, remind us that we cannot get to Easter without going through Good Friday. We cannot experience resurrection until we have known death. May you realize God's deep love for you as you participate in this service.
EASTER MORNING - Get your "Alleluia!" ready!
I look forward to seeing you TWICE on Easter morning -first at 8 AM as we serenade our neighborhoods with "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" from our front porches or driveways. Here's a link to the words. Then join us on Facebook or YouTube (see links above) for A First Service of Easter at 9:30 AM. This will be a 'premiere' as we did last week for Palm Sunday, which seems to help reserve bandwidth and prevent crashes. You'll want to have something with you that makes noise as we close the service with the Easter Homily of St. John Chrysostom - stamping out the devil! Be sure to share the video on your own Facebook page, or maybe start a Watch Party!
Worship Around the Web
We gather as a worshiping community with those we love, regardless of the 'production quality.' If there are technical glitches, or the video quality is not up to professional standards, we don't mind so much, because we know who is worshiping with us, and the patterns we follow together have meaning. But sometimes - and I think this is especially true for Holy Week and Easter - we long for the kind of worship experience that we just don't have the capability to produce ourselves. With that in mind, here are a couple of options you might want to check out, in addition to our Good Friday brief Tenebrae tonight at 7 PM and our Easter Sunday Facebook/YouTube premiere broadcast:
Join Twin Cities Methodist congregations in this Good Friday worship, available after noon today: Good Friday Online Worship for Watch Parties and Streaming
Bishop Ough preaches on Easter - This may not be available in your viewing area, but give it a try! Here are the details.
However you worship over these Three Days, may Christ be present with you, and may you rejoice in his great sacrifice on your behalf, as well in his resurrection triumph!
Other Resources (especially for parents/grandparents)
I've been getting lots of emails from BIG churches, offering their resources to those of us who don't have large technology budgets or staff. This is such a blessing! Not only does it help me with my time management, it gives you access to great resources for deepening faith and growing in love of God and neighbor. For example, North Point Resources sent some great links for parents who are trying to work from home. And here's another one from the Bible App for Kids (Parents, if you don't already have this free app on your phone, it's worth the download!).
This worship series will take us from Easter to Pentecost. I'll tell you more about it next week, and share some resources for following the series with us from home as we continue to shelter in space over the next few weeks.
A final thought...
Casey Kerins McCue-Gomes offered some words on social media last week that I'd like to share with you. May your faith outweigh your fear. Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
Resurrection in a time of Pandemic
Maybe this year, we celebrate Easter differently.
Not with a big service. Not with the lights and the full band. Not with the newest songs about Jesus conquering the grave. Not with a big party. Not with the ham, the egg hunt, the wine and the fellowship. Not with the dresses. Not with the suits. Not with the perfect hair and the annual family photos. Maybe this year, we celebrate Easter differently. Maybe we gather with only the closest of family in our homes. We watch from afar. We wait. We pray. Some of us hide, hoping the faith outweighs the fear. Maybe we hear from God, see God in the place we never thought we would on Easter Sunday: In our own homes. Maybe, for once, we celebrate Easter differently. Maybe, we celebrate the Resurrection just as the Disciples did: Alone, in the silence, hoping the faith outweighs the fear.
I'm praying for you, church!
Pastor Jo Anne