News for March 25 – 31

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The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday

Both services on March 25 will begin with the blessing of the palms and a procession into the church in a reenactment of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem – remembering when people gathered, waving palms and shouting, “Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Both services will feature Holy Communion, lessons and a reading of the Passion Gospel. Weather permitting, the 8:15 AM service will begin on the porch just outside the front door into the narthex and the 10:45 AM service will begin at the fountain on the Brenau lawn.

Easter Flowers

If you would like to make a donation for Easter flowers, fill out a donation form and return it with payment in the offertory plate or by mail to the church office at 422 Brenau Avenue, Gainesville, GA 30501. Deadline is Sunday, March 25.

Sunday Forum

Stop by the parish hall during the formation hour (9:30 – 10:30 AM) on March 25 and explore opportunities to practice faith at home for the Easter season. If you liked “Lent in a Bag,” you’ll love “Holy Week in a Box”!

Wednesday Evening

There will be no Wednesday night dinner or program on March 28 or April 4. Watch upcoming issues of the newsletter for information about a special three week program series, facilitated by parishioner Jeff Jones, that will begin following dinner on April 11.

Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday comes from the Latin word for commandment “mandatum.” In John 13:34, Jesus says to his disciples “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another just as I have loved you.”

Supper will be served in the Banquet Hall of First Baptist Church at 5:00 PM on Thursday, March 29.

A Maundy Thursday service (foot washing, communion, stripping of the altar) will be held at Grace Episcopal Church at 7:00 PM.

Following the liturgy for Maundy Thursday, the reserved Sacrament is taken from the altar to the Chapel where it will remain until the Good Friday liturgy at noon. The Chapel will remain open for prayers during this time. It is an ancient custom of the Church to keep a watch before this Reserved Sacrament. The watch recalls the time Jesus and his disciples spent in the Garden of Gethsemane after the Last Supper and before Jesus’ arrest. (“Could you not pray with me for even one hour?”  Matthew 26:40)

This is a wonderful opportunity to pray for your family, to meditate on God, and to be present during the night watch with other Grace folks in quiet solidarity. Please consider making an hour of prayer during the long night part of your Lenten devotion. There is no need to sign up, just come when you can, and stay as long as you would like, between 8:30 PM Thursday evening and 12:00 PM Friday afternoon.

Good Friday

Good Friday, a name that derives from “God’s Friday”, is the day we commemorate the crucifixion of our Lord.

A Good Friday service, open to the entire community, will be held in the nave at 12:00 PM on March 30. Following the service, a Stations of the Cross procession will begin at Grace Church and continue down Green Street, ending at First Baptist Church. Along the way, we will periodically pause for silent prayers along Green Street. Return transportation to Grace Church will be provided. Those unable to walk this distance are invited to stay in the nave at Grace and use our parish Stations around the columns in the nave.

The Great Vigil of Easter

The Great Vigil of Easter begins at 8:30 PM on Saturday, March 31! This is clearly the most aesthetically dramatic liturgy in the Church year. It begins in darkness outside the building with fire and the kindling of the Paschal Candle. The lessons that are the narrative of our entire salvation history will be told during the first part of the service, all of which happens in darkness-itself a dramatic setting.

Midway through this service when the Eucharist begins, the Season of Lent officially concludes with the celebrant proclaiming in a loud shout “Alleluia! Christ is risen!” To which the people respond joyfully, “The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.” At this point, the lights are illumined, bells ring out, and the joyous celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord commences!!

Please note that incense will be used at this service. No childcare/nursery will be available.

Upcoming

  • April 1: Easter Day
  • April 2 & 3: Parish Office Closed
  • April 2-6: COG Spring Break
  • April 8: Doughn-It Feel Good
  • April 8: The Circle
  • April 11: Prayer Practice Class
  • April 11: Women’s Study
  • April 13: Movie Night
  • April 15: Encounter
  • Full Calendar of Events

This blog post highlights some events and news pertinent to the upcoming week. The primary source of information about what’s happening at Grace Church is our weekly newsletter – for full news and events please subscribe to the e-vangelist

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