Thomas McKenzie
by grace alone


Thomas McKenzie's Blog.

A Guide to Holy Week

He is Not Here, by Hi Qi

This is Holy Week.

I hope you will set aside time and energy this week to reflect on what the death and Resurrection of Jesus means to you. Perhaps take some time to read the last few chapters of one or more of the Gospels.  Spend some time in silence.  Maybe listen to some music or watch a movie that reminds you of the Lord's love for you. Consider a thanksgiving offering to your church or a person in need. Share some of your reflections with family members or friends. Enter into the greatest story ever told.  Make Holy Week personal, as well as corporate.

During Holy Week, we walk with Jesus through his sufferings in order to more fully share with him in his Resurrection.  Here is a short guide to the services we are having in our church, Church of the Redeemer.  Everyone is invited to join us.  920 Caldwell Lane, 37204.

Daily Eucharist.  Each day we are taking communion together at noon.  This is a simple service, and a beautiful way to share in God's grace with one another in the middle of your busy day.

Tenebrae.  I've talked a lot about this, but most don't know exactly what it is.  That's intentional.  It relies a bit on surprise for it's impact.  Trust me, though, this is a cool event to invite a friend to, especially if your friend likes drama, film, or live music.  7 pm on Wednesday at the Belcourt Theatre in Hillsboro Village.  Doors open at 6:30 pm.

Maundy Thursday.  This always tears me up. A lot of this service is the foot-washing, in which you are invited to have your feet washed and wash someone else's feet.  It's an emotional time, a healing time.  Then, after Communion, we have the Stripping of the Altar.  Like Palm Sunday, I experience the hard juxtaposition of Christ's tenderness and my rebellion.  7 pm on Thursday.

Seven Last Words.  Don't be intimidated by the three-hour length of this service.  Many people come for only 20 or 30 minutes. This is a moving vigil, an experience of loss with many moments of hope.  The homilies are always excellent, the music is great, and the silence is golden.  Noon until 3 pm on Friday.

Outdoor Stations of the Cross.  This is a family favorite; kids love it.  Following Jesus on his road to Calvary, experiencing together fourteen of those moments, is unique and challenging. This is meditation in motion, where sadness is interrupted by children laughing, and the driving of nails into the cross is mixed with birds singing.  A perfect way to spend an hour.  6 pm on Friday.

Easter Egg Hunt.  So much fun. No need to RSVP. Bring your friends and neighbors!  2 pm on Saturday.

Great Vigil of Easter.  My favorite service of the entire year.  We start in darkness, kindling fire.  We hear again the story of our salvation, from Creation to Resurrection. This year we'll have St. John Chrysostom as our  preacher.  As we ponder the light of Christ driving away the darkness, we'll watch the sanctuary change colors as the sun begins to rise.  We'll hear the birds sing with us.  We'll renew our Baptisms, and we'll celebrate Communion at daybreak.  So worth getting up early!  5:45 am on Easter Sunday morning.

Celebration Services.  What a joyful time this always is!  Just make sure you are a bit early, as seating will be a challenge.  Feel free to stand or sit in the aisles if you need to.  Be creative!  If you are a member of our church, and are able to do this, park at the David Lipscomb football field.  There will be a shuttle to bring you back and forth to Redeemer.