From the Cross to Resurrection...
Lent and Easter celebrations at Zion
Lent is a time when we slow down and consider our Lord's death. We take extra time to study the word of God and practice many different spiritual disciplines all in the hope to deepen our faith.
Lent at a Glance
Palm Sunday with the reading of the Passion from Matthew and FootPrints - April 2
Past Lent Worship services
Why should we bother with Holy Week?
Holy Week began because the church, after the Roman Empire converted all its citizens to Christianity, had to find a way to educate large groups of people about the passion of our Lord. However, these times of worship are not us crucifying Jesus once again but rather as a way for us to remember.
To help answer some of your questions about these three days, we have gathered a few resources for you to read and watch.
The Triduum are the three holy days that happen the week in between Palm Sunday and Easter. These days are called: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil. These are three days in the church year when we physically walk with Jesus from the table, to the cross, and to the tomb so that we might ponder the mystery of the Easter. On Easter morning, we go with Mary Magdalene and witness with her Jesus rise from the dead; but the three days before Easter explain why we even need to gather on Easter. These three days are important and go hand-in-hand. One does not make sense without the other. Though it might be hard to make it to church three times in a row, coming to these services is a great reminder of why we gather on Sunday mornings in the first place! Of course, the best way to learn more about these Three Days is to experience them first-hand!
Click the images below to learn more about each worship service!
Need a spiritual discipline for Lent?
For many people, Lent is a time when we give things up, but there is so much more to Lent than just giving up cake or coffee. Instead of giving something up for Lent, try doing something instead:
Reading a book, waking up in the morning and praying, reading a chapter from the Bible a night, working at a soup kitchen, walking to work, walking once a night with your family, playing a game with your family once a week, turning off your phone one day a week and spending that time with your family, volunteering to help around church, doing some manual labor, or simply cleaning the garage. These are a few ideas, but really all you need to do is look at your life and see the places that are lacking your presence.
The possibilities are endless. Here are a couple of good ones that people have done over the years…
Come to both the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday Services. These are very important worship times in the Church for we will hear how Jesus won our salvation. These services remind us of our salvation and the story we so love to tell. Without these two services, Easter makes no sense. So come and learn why we gather on Easter.
Give up a meal once a day and use the money for that meal to help the needy. This has also been a tradition in the Roman Catholic Church for years. You simply skip a meal and place that money that you normally would have spent on that meal and give it to the poor. Put that money aside that you would have spent and donate it ELCA World Hunger or another cause close to your heart.
Do not eat meat on Fridays or maybe Monday (meatless-Monday). This has been a tradition in the Catholic Church for years, but it is another way you might find some spiritual growth. Sometimes, failing at this discipline teaches more than actually keeping the discipline. For in failing, you will see just how dependent we are on meat in our diet where many in the world are lucky to have meat once a month.
Come on Wednesday for food and prayer. This is not just self-promotion. Come and fellowship with other Christians and deepen your faith. Martin Luther once said, "Anyone who is to find Christ must first find the church. How could anyone know where Christ is and what faith is in him unless he knew where his believers are?" So come find Christ and see Christ in the face of your brothers and sisters.
Turn off all notifications on your cell phone. Sounds simple right? These notifications help us stay connected but they can interrupt family time and sabbath time. Consider turning off your notifications this Lent and get to the emails and text messages later.
Read the Entire New Testament. Martin Luther used to read the whole Bible once a year. Not too many of us have ever done this so start small. You can read the whole Bible in 40 days but if that seems too large, try the New Testament. Remember that the Bible is not just available in print but there are
audio copies of this book available. There are even free versions available as a podcast. Just be
thoughtful with the translation. Instead of listening to the music or the news, use your commute time to read/listen the Bible.
SPEND TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY. I don't think I can stress this enough. Spending time with your family is so important these days. In the blink of an eye, tragedies can strike. Take as much time as you can to be the people you love and who love you the most.
The most important thing to remember this Lent with whatever discipline you might pick, is to not be afraid to fail at it. Failure teaches us what we did wrong so that we can fix it for the future. Don't be afraid to fail, but come and bring your failures to worship where they can be forgiven. And do tell others about what you are doing this Lent! Don't hide what you are doing. Telling others will help hold you accountable and will help you succeed. And maybe, if you are lucky and you build a habit out your spiritual discipline, you will be able to continue to do it after Easter. The goal of any good discipline is that you continue to keep on doing it throughout the year. So, pick up a new discipline his Lent!