Today through Sunday marks the holiest days of Christianity — the celebration of the crucifixion, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This past week Christians began Holy Week with Palm Sunday, marking Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. Palm leaves were laid in his path as he rode.
Maundy Thursday commemorates The Last Supper. This is the time Jesus sat down to eat with his 12 disciples. Jesus shared bread and wine with everyone and washed the feet of his disciples. It is also at this time that Jesus foretold of his betrayal by Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples at The Last Supper.
After the meal was over, Jesus wanted to be alone to pray. Guards appeared a short time later and he was arrested.
On Good Friday, Christians remember how Jesus was beaten, forced to wear a crown of thorns and drag a large, wooden cross up the Hill of Golgatha, where he was crucified by Roman soldiers.
Holy Saturday or Black Sabbath marks when Jesus was put in a tomb. The guards rolled a big rock in front of the opening of the tomb to make sure that no one could get in or out.
Resurrection Sunday celebrates the Resurrection of Christ, who left the tomb and continued ministering to his disciples until his Ascension.
Local churches will remember this time in a variety of ways in the next few days.
— The Goshen News
• Faith United Methodist Church — “The Journey to the Cross” is the program for Faith United Methodist Church’s program during Good Friday and its three Easter services. A replica of the Shroud of Turin, measuring more than 14 feet long and almost 4 feet high, will be on display. Along with the Shroud, other first century replicas of items used during the crucifixion will be on display, including an iron nail, a Roman-style spearhead, an authentic Roman flagrum or whip, a crown of thorns from thorn bushes in Jerusalem and the “Titulus Crucis,” or the head board inscription over the head of Jesus (the replica is based on a replica in the Church of Santa Croce. The Rev. Brian Cray added that there will be a replica of the face cloth of Jesus call the “Sudarium.”
The church is located at 22045 C.R. 18, Goshen.
Service schedules are as follows: 6 to 7:30 tonight, Maundy Thursday Communion; 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Good Friday Journey to the Cross; and 7, 8:30 and 10:45 a.m. Sunday, Easter Celebration.
• First Presbyterian Church — A community Good Friday service is planned for noon Friday at First Presbyterian Church, 215 E. Lincoln Ave., Goshen. All are welcome.
• Faith United Methodist Church — Easter services will be at 7, 8:30 and 10:45 a.m. A Good Friday service, called “Journey to the Cross,” is scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m.
• Grace Community Church — The church will celebrate the Resurrection of Christ during three services — 8, 9:45 and 11:30 a.m. That will be followed by a community Easter egg hunt at 1:30 p.m. The church is located at 20076 C.R. 36, Goshen.
• Holy Virgin Protection Orthodox Church — At 7 tonight, Holy Thursday Vesperal Liturgy will be said. Twelve Passion Gospels — Matins of Good Friday at 7 p.m. at Holy Friday Royal Hours at noon. Holy Friday Vespers and Bringing out of the Winding Cloth will take place at 3 p.m. Friday and the Small Compline at 4:30 p.m. Matins for Holy Saturday will be at 7 p.m. Holy Saturday Vesperal Liturgy will begin at 9 a.m. Confession before Pascha (Easter) will be from 9 to 11:10 p.m. Saturday. Reading of the Acts of the Apostles will be from 9 to 11:10 p.m. Saturday. Midnight Office will be at 11:15 p.m.
On Sunday, the Pascha of the Lord will be celebrated with Matins, Hours and Divine Liturgy at midnight and Paschal Vespers at 5 p.m. On Monday, the Bright Monday Divine Liturgy will start at 10 a.m.
• Goshen City Church of the Brethren — The church will be celebrating Maundy Thursday with the West Goshen Church of the Brethren tonight at 6:30. The love Feast and Communion will be a joint venture this year at West Goshen Church of the Brethren, 1200 Berkey Ave., Goshen. There will be washing of feet, eating of a simple meal and sharing in the bread and cup communion. Everyone is welcome.
• Goshen City Church of the Brethren — The church, located at 203 N. Fifth St., Goshen, is hosting an Easter sunrise service at 7 a.m. on the front lawn, with breakfast at 7:45. The Easter celebration worship service will be at 9:30, with an Easter egg hunt/fellowship time at 10:40. The choir will perform the cantata: “Come Walk With Me.”
• First United Church of Christ — On Maundy Thursday, there will be communion and foot washing at 7 p.m. On Easter Sunday, breakfast will be served from 9 to 10 a.m. The Easter worship service with communion will begin at 10:30 a.m. The church is located at 110 S. Fifth St., Goshen. For more information, call 533-4640.
• First Church of God — The church, located at 1006 S. 16th St., Goshen, will be celebrating Easter with a sunrise praise and prayer service at 8:15 a.m. This will be a time of Easter music and prayer. An all-church Easter breakfast will follow at 9 a.m. And then the Easter worship service will commence at 10:30 a.m.
• College Mennonite Church — On Maundy Thursday, beginning at 6 p.m., there will be a simple supper and communion in the church Fellowship Hall, followed by a Tenebrae service.
At 6 p.m. Saturday, Chicago-based Spektral Quartet (J. Austin Wulliman, Aurelian Pederezoli, Doyle Armbrust, Russell Rolon) will perform a Lenten masterwork, “The Seven Last Words of Christ” by F. J. Haydn. There is no admission charge. Nonperishable food items will be accepted at the door and donated to The Window.
• North Goshen Mennonite Church — The church, located at 501 N. Eighth St. (at the corner of Summit and Eighth streets) will have a Maundy Thursday service at 6 tonight.
• Harvest Community Church — The church will be serving a hot breakfast at 9:30 a.m., which is free, followed by a fast-paced family friendly one-hour service at 10:30 a.m. The church is located at 17285 C.R. 34, Goshen.