Proverbs 27:17

Proverbs 27:17

Monday, March 18, 2024

Pastor Tim Perlick

Hi everyone,  this last week of Lent, with Holy Week next week, provides an opportunity to discuss the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

This Wednesday, we will look at the "Paschal Triduum" (see attached) and review the "Stations of the Cross" on the Via Dolorosa.  Check out the video below for a very good 20 minute tour from the Francisicans (who have been in charge of most of the Holy Sites since 1350!) to frame our discussion: (you can skip the ad)

If you have The Story of Jesus from National Geographic, check out pages 68-91 for more background on the events of Holy Week.


Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 886 8907 5784
Passcode: church

Pastor Tim

Preparing for Holy Week

Paschal Triduum

What's in a name? 

In nearly every Western language except English, Easter is known by its Greek name: Pascha. Triduum is a Latin word meaning "three days". Paschal Triduum literally means "three days of Easter". In practice, this is a short, three-day season in the church year, which makes the bridge between Lent/Passiontide and Easter: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter.

One liturgy over three days 

There are many analogies used to describe the Triduum: A play in three acts; a symphony in three movements; a journey with three stops. However we think of it, the Triduum begins with the Maundy Thursday liturgy and continues until the end of the first celebrations of Easter Day. Maundy Thursday's liturgy has an opening but no closing; Good Friday has neither opening nor closing; the Great Vigil and first Eucharist of Easter has no opening but does conclude with a dismissal. 

We may go home and rest in between ceremonies, but the liturgy stays open and continues. Like a flowing river into which we dip for a time and step back out of, but that keeps running whether we are there or not. The Church—the Body of Christ—is at prayer and worship constantly over these great and holy days. If Lent is a season of reflection, growth, and preparation, then the Triduum is what we prepare ourselves for. This is the moment when those seeds, planted and watered, burst from the ground with new life. This is the heart of the Church's year and the liturgy that all other liturgies take their cues from.


Washing of the Feet:

Maundy Thursday holds three major events. The first remembers Jesus's washing of the feet of the disciples, much to their concern. Jesus leads by serving, demonstrating that God is willing to meet us in our most awkward, rude, humble, dirty, seemingly unworthy of places. Even to kneel down and wash the dirt and dust from our feet. Jesus also commands the disciples who receive this blessing to share it with others: "For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them." So, on this day, we honor this command and wash the feet of one another.

Commemorating the Last Supper

Maundy Thursday also remembers the last meal Jesus shared with his friends and disciples before his crucifixion. It is from this event in the Gospels that we receive the words that we repeat, in some form, at every Eucharist: Jesus took bread and gave thanks saying, "Take and eat: this is my body which is broken for you." In the same way he took the cup, saying, "This is my blood which is shed for you. When you do this, you do it in memory of me." 


Stripping the Church and Gethsemane

The final acts of this day's ceremony are to remove from the church all of the symbols of light and glory. Candles are snuffed and removed, brass and gold are taken away, banners rolled up, and lights put out. In some communities the reserved eucharistic bread and wine are taken out of the church and stored elsewhere. Often Psalm 22 "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" is sung while the stripping of the church takes place. This emotional act represents Jesus's departure to the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before the crucifixion and his solitude as the disciples who promise to stay with him fall asleep.


1. Stations of the Cross

From noon to 3, many congregations will maintain a “vigil” to commemorate retracing the “Stations of the Cross”, also known as the “walk of the cross”through the Via Dolorosa to Golgotha and Christ’s crucifixion.   The practice has roots in the 15thcentury.  Today’s devotion is an adaption of a custom widely observed by pilgrims to Jerusalem: the offering of prayer at a series of places in the city of Jerusalem traditionally associated with our Lord’s passion and death.  The number of stations, which at first varied widely, finally became fixed at fourteen. Of these, eight are based directly on events recorded in the Gospels.  The remaining six are based on inferences from the Gospel account or from pious “tradition”.  

2. Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion

This rite focuses on John 18:1-19:42 to convey the passion narrative in full so that all see vividly the love of Christ for each person.  In light of this, the crimes during the Passion of Christ cannot be attributed indiscriminately to all Jews of that time, not to Jews today.  The institutional power structure is the culprit,and this is Jesus’ message of hope for all of us today.  Christ freely suffered his passion and death because of the sins of all, that all might be saved.



In the Christian calendar, most days are measured from midnight to midnight.  However, important days begin at sundown the day before the calendar date.  When a day’s first liturgies happen the night before, they are called vigils.  This is where the beloved tradition of Christmas Eve liturgies is rooted.  Like Christmas, Easter also has a vigil. The Great Vigil of Easter begins in darkness.  People approach the church like the women approaching the tomb, remembering the events of Good Friday.  Candles are lit, that people might see the way, sharing the light of Christ with one another. On entering the church and realizing the tomb is empty, an ancient hymn called The Exsulter is sung.  This hymn calls on every power in earth and heaven to sing and rejoice in the power of Christ who broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave.


"God has led you to the desert, and spoken to your Heart."
Mount of Olives Lutheran Church
3546 E. Thomas Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85018
602-956-1620 office

No comments:

Post a Comment