One of the things I inherited with Pastor Carl’s departure was the writing of the annual Easter letter. The signs of secular Easter are everywhere. I see bags of special Easter candies in all the grocery and drug stores; cute little Easter outfits for children in the department stores; bags of Easter “grass” of all colors alongside bags of multicolored plastic Easter eggs for making your own Easter basket. Finally, if you need something simpler, there are ready-made baskets for kids of all ages.
However, before we move too quickly to the celebration of Easter, especially in the Church, we need first to walk with Jesus through Holy Week to the Cross. We can only truly celebrate the forgiveness and new life that Easter
celebrates when we are willing to embrace the betrayal and the pain of the Cross.
This year our Holy Week services will be a little different. On March 25th we will observe both the Palms and the Passion of that Sunday. The Dove Choir and the Chancel Choir will help us rejoice with Jesus as the crowds welcomed him into Jerusalem. We will wave out palm branches and cry out “Hosanna. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” There will be a dramatic reading that contrasts the difference between the kind of king the people wanted and expected with the kind of king Jesus really was.
Then the service will move into the Passion. Passion means suffering. The scriptures and music will focus on the betrayal of Jesus after his triumphal entrance into Jerusalem. We will end with his trial and sentence of death with a hint of the resurrection to come.
On Good Friday, March 30th, our 7:00 pm service will begin with communion reminiscent of the Last Supper Jesus had with his disciples. Then the service flows into an abbreviated Tenebrae or Service of the Shadows. The service will end in darkness and silence as we reflect on Jesus’ death and entombment.
The day of Resurrection dawns on April 1st which is perhaps God’s greatest April fool’s joke of all times. For the crucified Son of God is now the Resurrected Lord of Lord and King of Kings. As we gather to worship on that day we will shout, Christ has risen! The Lords has risen indeed! Alleluia! Amen!
A blessed Easter to you all!
The Rev. Linda Chase, Associate Pastor (Worship service schedule on reverse)
Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church ✜ 701 Forman Avenue ✜ Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742
(732) 899-0587 www.pointpresbyterian.org
HOLY WEEK WORSHIP SCHEDULE
Good Friday, March 30th
7:00 p.m. – Good Friday Worship Communion and Tenebrae
Easter Early Morning, April 1st
6:00 a.m. – Ecumenical Sunrise Service,
Jenkinson’s Pavilion, Parkway & the Boardwalk
Easter Day, April 1st
9:00 Sunday School begins in worship; 10:15 Easter Egg Hunt
9:00 & 11:00 Worship in the Sanctuary
The Rev. Linda Chase, Preaching