By LORETTA FULTON
What began on Palm Sunday was completed on Easter Sunday.
From March 25 to March 30, Christians observed Holy Week rituals, including Maundy Thursday, with the institution of the Lord’s Supper and foot washing, and Good Friday, when the light of Christ was snuffed out. Some traditions held all-night vigils. Many churches hosted Easter egg hunts, complete with Easter bunnies, hot dog lunches, inflatables, train rides and all kinds of family fun.
Several hundred people attended the annual Holy Week Luncheon Series Monday-Friday at the five participating churches. They were blessed with outstanding sermons from Felicia Hopkins, St. Paul United Methodist Church; Jonathan Storment, Highland Church of Christ; Susan Payne, First Christian Church; Phil Christopher, First Baptist Church; and Cliff Stewart, First Central Presbyterian Church.
They also were blessed with a variety of types of music, from piano, vocal, and violin solos to four-part a cappella vocals, lunches, and fellowship.
Aldersgate United Methodist Church kicked off the sixth year of its community garden with a Good Friday blessing and seed planting.
“This is something to celebrate,” said Amy Wilson Feltz, associate pastor, as volunteers clasped hands and formed a large circle for a brief service and prayer.
Feltz read from “The Blessing of the Land,” taken from “Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals.”
“God of the Universe,
You made the heavens and the earth,
So we do not call our home merely ‘planet earth.’
We call it your Creation, a Divine Mystery, a Gift from Your Most Blessed Hand.
The world itself is your miracle.”
So began the liturgy. After the blessing, everyone dispersed to begin digging, dropping seeds into the ground, and pressing the moist earth around them. But before they did so, they heard Feltz read John 12: 23-24.
“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”
“We can hold onto those promises,” Feltz said.
Alleluia. Christ is Risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.