At Calvary, we celebrate the beauty of Holy Week with amazing worship services that are all very different. They work together, in sequence, to deeply prepare us for the joy that comes at the end of the week. On Palm Sunday, we lead a festive, ecumenical worship service with our brothers and sisters from around downtown Memphis. We meet at the steps of Calvary at the beginning of the 10 a.m. worship service and process to City Hall, accompanied by the Wolf River Pipes and Drums. After a service of palms and prayers in the courtyard of City Hall, we literally and figuratively turn toward Calvary. The passion story carries us back into our nave to celebrate the Holy Eucharist before leaving in silence as we move into Holy Week.
The three principal services of Holy Week are Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Great Vigil of Easter. This series of three services leads us through the great passion of Christ. On Maundy Thursday, we remember the Last Supper when, while Jesus was sharing a meal with his disciples, he humbled himself to wash their feet. That simple action of washing the disciples’ feet captures the nature of the Christian journey. Our lives are short, and loving one another in simple and powerful ways is our great honor.
Saturday night, we gathered in the darkness of the nave. We sat in the darkness that is Christ’s death and recalled the great story of our scriptures. Through a series of readings, we heard the work God has done through time and the promises He made. Then, the hopefulness of those promises, the covenant that we have inherited, came to life in the dazzling brightness of the light of the resurrection. It was at the Easter Vigil that we celebrated Christ’s resurrection in the first Easter Eucharist, shared among our beloved Calvary family. It was in that moment, that the hope of Christ shines bright for all of us.
On Easter Sunday, we continued the celebration with the joy of family and friends. The church was filled with beautiful flowers, the children were dressed in their Easter finery, and we welcomed so many of our neighbors who might not worship with us on a regular basis. We welcomed them, to love them with the depths of Christ’s love for us, and to spread the good news of our gospel. On Easter, we feasted on the heavenly banquet God has set for us. All the time we spend getting to the moment was worth it. Our patience was rewarded with the bread of life that was better than we can even hope or imagine.