The season of Lent ends with the beginning of the Maundy Thursday service today. From ancient times, the penitents who received ashes at the beginning of Lent have been reconciled with God and the church on Maundy Thursday when we begin worship with a ritual of confession and forgiveness.
The church throughout the world will gather on Good Friday to pray before the wood of the cross, commemorating the death of the Lord–the death that conquered death forever.
The Saturday evening Easter Vigil is next, a feast of word and sacrament, as we hear the scriptural history of God’s work of salvation, from creation to resurrection–and the story continues still, from the little village that Paul and Barnabas visited so long ago even up to our own place and time, with the sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion.
Prayerfully and mindfully participating in the church’s ancient and renewed services of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil will truly bring a new and deeper perspective on the joy of Easter Sunday morning.
This is adapted from “Lent: Penitence, Pilgrimage, Preparation,” a downloadable resource written by Audrey Novak Riley. Today is Maundy Thursday. The readings are Exodus 12:1-4 [5-10] 11-14; Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-17, 31b-35. Today we remember Hans Nielsen Hauge, renewer of the church, who died in 1824.
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