As we enter Holy Week, many memories come to mind of childhood days participating in Holy Week services. Growing up just nine blocks away, I would often pedal my bike or walk to church, a familiar journey that felt like second nature. Even as my parents juggled the demands of owning a restaurant, I found peace and purpose in attending the Holy Week services, even when they couldn't join me.

In those years, I became very familiar with the significance of Holy Week and Good Friday, sometimes finding myself volunteering during the service - whether it was through liturgical dancing, participating in a mime, or singing in the youth choir. Even in those roles, it was never a chore; instead, I was drawn deeper into the narratives of Jesus' story.

This year, I extend to you a heartfelt invitation to join us for our Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services, leading us to Easter Sunday. These days hold profound significance, marking the final moments of Jesus Christ's earthly ministry, his ultimate sacrifice on the cross, and the glory of his resurrection.

In reflecting on the importance of Holy Week, Tim Schenck, Rector at Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, shares touching words of encouragement. He reminds us that clergy aren't just encouraging attendance for the sake of filling pews or showcasing fancy liturgies; rather, it's an invitation rooted in profound love and a deep belief in the transformative power of the Christian faith. 

Schenck's words resonate deeply with me:  "When you hear clergy strongly encouraging you to attend the services of Holy Week, it’s not just because they like to see more people in the pews, or it’s good for their egos, or they want parishioners to see how much effort goes into these liturgies. It’s because they believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the transforming power of the Christian faith. It’s because they love you and want nothing more than for you to have such a moving encounter with our Lord, that it will change your life. It’s an invitation rooted in profound love, and a recognition that there is literally nothing more important in the entire world than to participate fully as we collectively journey from the Upper Room to Calvary to the Empty Tomb."

At Bethany, we wholeheartedly echo Schenck's sentiments and extend a warm welcome to all to join us for our Holy Week services:

Maundy Thursday:  March 28th at 7:00 PM
Good Friday:  March 29th at 7:00 PM
Easter Sunday:  March 31st at 9:00 AM & 10:30 AM