Looking Forward to Holy Week 2019

Holy Week Schedule

We are looking forward to our annual observance of Holy Week here at MLLC in Carmine.  This is a powerful event which connects us to the core message and story of Jesus Christ.

We invite you to participate in these meaningful and reflective services.  Each is quite unique from what we do on other days of the year.  The actions and words in worship guide us through the various events of this final week of Jesus’ ministry.

In recent years some people have gotten out of the good habit of participating in the various Holy Week services.  This year can be a blessed opportunity for any and all to recommit to engaging in the story of Jesus through the Holy Week services.

We will share our services with our partner church, Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ledbetter.  Information about when and where we will be gathered for worship is noted in the schedule.  Here is the link to the Holy Week 2019 schedule:  click link.

Vigil of Easter 2018

EasterVigilCandles

Saturday, March 31, 2018, is the date of the Great Vigil of Easter, Holy Saturday, at MLLC.  For many in the church around the world, this is the centerpiece of their year as followers of Jesus.

 

Click this link to view a blog post from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) regarding this service and its connections with Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

Click this link to view a blog post by our own Jennifer Clark Tinker which tells about her experience and joy related to attending the Great Vigil of Easter each year.

 

An Introduction to the Vigil of Easter

Like the children of Israel who watched and waited through the night for the Lord of the Exodus, we too come together this night to watch and wait for the Lord of the Resurrection. We come, as Christians have come since the first century, to keep vigil and to prepare ourselves for the arrival of the Bridegroom who is chief host and guest at the Resurrection feast to come.

First, we must break the darkness of the night.   Like the virgins in the parable, we must light our vigil lights. Our light will be a very special light, for it is the light of Christ which burns atop the Paschal candle and which dispels the darkness — of night, of sin, of death. Our light will be a constant reminder of the Resurrection victory during the coming season, at every baptism and at every funeral. But for now, it will burn in vigil as we await the Bridegroom.

When we have settled into our pews for the watch, we hear the storytellers among us sharing the stories of our faith — the stories of God’s salvation history and the covenants which he made with our people. These are our “family” stories. We listen. We sing. We watch. And we wait for the feast to come.

After hearing our stories, we make our last minute preparations to meet our Lord. All must be right for the feast. On some years those among us who have not yet joined us are brought into membership with us this night, making all who are here part of the Church family, known as the Bride of Christ.  Each year, so that the whole family is prepared, each of us reaffirms our faith through the Apostles Creed. As we interact with the water and the Lord, we hear and we feel that grace which was given to us through our baptism.

We are nearly ready. The time is close.  We prepare the room and set the table for the Feast of Victory, the First Holy Communion of this greatest festival day of all. And then at last He comes! The Resurrection victory is won! The Bridegroom has come through the darkness to claim his Bride, the Church, to be his own. This is the feast of victory!  In the end flowers and banners must adorn the space, for our time this evening and tomorrow will be a feast to remember.

Our Celebrations of the Resurrection of Jesus

The Great Vigil of Easter – 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 31 – see the introduction above. Shared with Waldeck Lutheran Church.

Easter Sunrise – 6:45 a.m. on Sunday, April 1, at the Carmine Cemetery. Bring a lawn or folding chair for seating.  Shared with Waldeck Lutheran Church.

Easter Festival – Sunday April 1.  Opportunities at both MLLC and Waldeck

MLLC Schedule:

9:00 a.m. – Sunday School in the Fellowship Hall.  A light reception in the Parlor, near the sanctuary entrance and church offices.

10:00 a.m. – Festival Worship

~11:15 a.m. – Easter Egg Hunt

 

Waldeck Schedule:

8:00 a.m. – Festival Worship

~9:00 a.m. – Pot-luck Easter Breakfast – bring an item to share

9:30 a.m./After Breakfast – Easter Egg Hunt

Holy Week Schedule 2018

Holy Week Schedule

Holy Week – Celebrating the Saving Work of Jesus Christ

We invite you to be part of our celebrations and observances as we remember all the great things Jesus has done for us.  Every year around this time we gather to ponder anew the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus.  We get to revisit the central parts of our life and faith with him.

Everything else in our life and faith makes sense and matters because of the things we ponder this week.  Each service has a focus on the various actions and events in this final week of Jesus’ ministry on earth.

Palm Sunday reenacts Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.

Maundy Thursday revisits the major actions of Jesus at the Last supper with his Disciples.  These include the washing of the Disciples’ Feet, the Command to Love, the Institution of the Holy Communion, and the Arrest of Jesus.

Good Friday invites us to gather at the Cross of Christ.  On the Cross he suffers and dies for the forgiveness of our sin.

On Holy Saturday we gather for the Great Vigil of Easter.  In this time we gather with the followers of Jesus to wait for the fulfillment of his promise to Rise from the dead.  In this service we light a new fire in hope of the Resurrection.  We tell the stories of faith from the Old Testament.  We celebrate the gift of Baptism which is our holy connection to the death and resurrection of Jesus.  In the end we renew our commitment to follow Jesus as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper at the beginning of our Resurrection Celebration.

Early on Sunday we gather in the Carmine Cemetery for our Easter Sunrise Service.  This is an ancient tradition of Christians.  Our brothers and sisters in the faith have gathered in cemeteries early on Easter Sunday since the earliest days of the Church.  We do this to reconnect with the place of Jesus’ Resurrection.  He was raised from the dead in a graveyard of sorts, the borrowed tomb in which Jesus’ body was placed.  It was early in the morning on the first day of the week, as we read in John chapter 20.

Later that morning we celebrate with the whole Church that Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead.

Here is the schedule of our Holy Week Services.  We will also include the schedule of services at our partner church, Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church near Ledbetter.

All are welcome at these services at either church.

Palm Sunday Weekend

Saturday, March 24 – 6:00 p.m. at Carmine

Sunday, March 25 – 8:00 a.m. at Waldeck; 10:00 a.m. at Carmine.  Both Sunday services will include the procession of Palms.  Waldeck will also include the Passion story from Mark’s Gospel.

 

Maundy Thursday

Thursday, March 29 – 5:45 p.m. at Waldeck; 7:30 p.m. at Carmine

 

Good Friday

Friday, March 30 – 7:00 p.m. at Carmine

 

Holy Saturday

– The Great Vigil of Easter

Saturday, March 31 – 7:00 p.m. at Carmine

 

Easter Sunday – The Resurrection of our Lord

Sunrise Service – 6:45 a.m. at the Carmine Cemetery – bring a lawn chair for seating.  We will gather among the graves.  If inclement weather we will gather in the pavilion at the cemetery.

At Waldeck:  8:00 a.m. Festival Service – outside in the pavilion on the south end of the church building.  If inclement weather, inside the church.  Holy Communion.

The service will be followed by a pot-luck brunch in Annex.  An Egg Hunt will be offered around 9:30 a.m.

 

At Carmine:  9:00 a.m. – Sunday School in Fellowship Hall.  Also, a reception with kolaches, coffee, etc. will be offered in the Parlor (the room next to the sanctuary.)

10:00 a.m. Easter Festival Service with Holy Communion.

11:15 a.m. Easter Egg Hunt, outside the Sanctuary entrance.

After Easter:

After Easter Sunday, both churches will resume their regular weekend schedule:

Carmine:  Sunday School at 9:00 a.m.; Sunday Worship at 10:00 a.m.

Worship on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays at 6:00 p.m.

 

Waldeck:  Sunday Worship at 8:00 a.m.; Sunday school at 9:15 a.m.

Good Friday – April 14

 

jesus-christ-crucifixion-395

 

We will gather together on Friday, April 14, at 7 p.m. at MLLC to remember the events of Good Friday.  This is our annual remembrance of the dramatic sacrifice of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sin.

 

Introduction to Good Friday

 

We begin our liturgy as we ended the Maundy Thursday Liturgy: in silence. What was begun then continues this day as we journey with our Savior from the Last Supper, the stripping and humiliation, to the cross and tomb. Good Friday is the second day of the Triduum, the “Three Sacred Days” of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday with its Vigil of Easter.

The Good Friday Liturgy is marked with austerity, silence and reflection. The chancel itself is bare from the Maundy Thursday “Stripping of the Altar”. There is no organ music except to accompany the hymns. Everything focuses on our adoration of the crucified Christ, reigning from the throne of the cross.

 

The service of Tenebrae is an ancient Holy Week devotion which began in the 7th or 8th century, or possibly earlier.  The name “Tenebrae” means shadows.  The service takes its name from the ceremony of extinguishing in succession all the lights in the sanctuary, casting it into total darkness which is symbolic of the disciples’ desertion of our Lord, and of his death and burial.

The purpose of the Tenebrae Service is to aid us in realizing the total impact of the darkest day in the history of the world, the day Jesus died on the cross.

 

The opening portion of the liturgy includes no praise. It proceeds directly to the Invocation and Prayer of the Day. It is a simplified version of our Sunday Liturgy of the Word. The chief acts are the reading of the Passion of St. John and the Bidding Prayer for the needs of our world.

 

Following the final hymn is a meditation on the Seven Last Words of our Lord which he spoke from the cross.  After each word is read, there will be a prayer and silent meditation.  Lights and one candle will be extinguished after each meditation until the sanctuary is in darkness.

 

After the lights are all extinguished, the congregation will stand as the Paschal Candle is carried from the sanctuary reminding us of the burial of Jesus.  A loud noise, made by the closing of a Bible, will remind us of the closing of the tomb.  This announces the fulfilling of the Scriptures and the completion of our Lord’s work on the cross for us.

 

The Paschal Candle (called the Christ Candle during Advent/Christmas) will not return until the beginning of the Great Vigil of Easter on Saturday evening at 7 p.m.  On Good Friday we recognize that Jesus was fully dead and was placed in the borrowed tomb.

 

Note:  The return of the Paschal Candle moments after the loud noise is a form of the Good Friday service designed to be used in those congregations which do not have the Great Vigil of Easter.

All will leave in silence to return tomorrow as we wait in vigil and then celebrate our Lord’s Resurrection at the Great Vigil of Easter.  At the Vigil tomorrow evening we will have the first Holy Communion in celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Schedule for the rest of Holy Week:

Easter Vigil – Saturday – 7:00 p.m. – in sanctuary – a joint service for both MLLC and Waldeck.

 

Resurrection Sunday:

Resurrection Sunrise service at 6:45 a.m. at the Carmine Cemetery – a joint service for both MLLC and Waldeck

 (Bring your own chairs for seating at the cemetery)

 

Waldeck Festival Service – 8:00 a.m., followed by a Pot-luck Easter Breakfast.  Also and Easter Egg hunt will happen around 9:30 a.m.

 

MLLC Festival Service at 10:00 a.m. in the sanctuary

Egg hunt for the children. ~11:15 a.m.

 

Holy Week Schedule 2017

Holy Week Schedule

We invite you to participate in the special worship and devotional opportunities for Holy Week 2017 at MLLC.  Here is the schedule of events:

Palm Sunday – April 8 & 9

Worship on Saturday at 6:00 p.m., Sunday at 10:00 a.m.

Palm procession and entering into Holy Week.  Holy Communion.

 

The Holy Triduum – the Three Holy Days: Thursday through Saturday

Maundy Thursday – April 13

Worship at MLLC at 7:30 p.m.

First Holy Communion, presentation of Bibles to First Communion Students, the washing of Feet – following the example of Jesus (we will also offer the washing of hands), Stripping of the Altar.

There will also be a Maundy Thursday Service at 5:45 p.m. at Waldeck Lutheran Church, our shared ministry partner.  The Church is located at 6915 Waldeck Church Lane, Ledbetter, TX 78946 – this is about 6 miles south of Ledbetter at the corner of FM 2145 and FM 1291.

 

Good Friday – April 14

Worship at MLLC at 7:00 p.m. – a joint event with Waldeck Lutheran Church

Remembering the Suffering and Death of Jesus Christ our Lord.  This will include the reading of the St. John Passion account from chapters 18 and 19.  This is a shared even with Waldeck Lutheran Church.

 

The Great Vigil of Easter – Saturday, April 15

Worship at MLLC at 7:00 p.m. – a joint event with Waldeck Lutheran Church

Service of Light, Services of Readings, Remembrance of Baptism, First Holy Communion in celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

 

 

The Resurrection of Our Lord – Easter Sunday

April 16

6:45 a.m. – Sunrise Service at Carmine Cemetery – a joint event with Waldeck Lutheran Church

Bring a lawn or folding chair for seating

9:00 a.m. – Sunday School

10:00 a.m. – Festival Worship Service with Holy Communion

After worship – Easter Egg Hunt for the children

 

For those who are interested:

Waldeck Lutheran Church Easter Sunday Schedule:

8:00 a.m. – Festival Service with Holy Communion.  This will be outside in the covered pavilion, as weather permits, or inside as needed.

After worship – Easter Breakfast.  This will be a pot-luck meal, and you are invited to bring a food item to share.

Holy Week Schedule 2016

Holy Week Schedule

We invite you to Holy Week 2016

 

Maundy Thursday, March 24

Maundy bread wine
Worship at 7:00 p.m.
Remembering the Last Supper,
Washing of Feet and Hands, First Holy Communion, Presentation of Bibles to First Communion Candidates

 

Good Friday, March 25

Good Friday nails crown thorns

7:00 p.m.
Prayer and Readings, Tenebrae,
Remembering Jesus’ death on the cross.
Reflections by the Apostle John

 

Note the Three Options for attending Worship on Easter:

A grand celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord!

Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
Sunday at 7:30 a.m.
Sunday at 9:00 a.m.
Details below:

 

The Resurrection of Our Lord: The Vigil of Easter, March 26

Vigil cross symbols

Worship at 7:00 p.m. (will last until about 8:20-8:30 p.m.)
Service of Light, Service of Readings,
Baptisms or Remembrance of Baptism, Initial Holy Communion of Easter
Entry of Easter Flowers into Sanctuary

 

The Resurrection of our Lord:  Resurrection Sunday, March 27

Resurrection Easter cross flowers
Sunrise Service 7:30 a.m. – Carmine Cemetery – bring a lawn or folding chair for seating.  The service will be held at the covered pavilion at the cemetery in the event of rain.

.
Easter Breakfast 8:00 a.m. – in Fellowship Hall

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Festival Worship 9:00 a.m. – Sanctuary

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Sunday School Resurrection Celebration and Egg Hunt ~10:15 a.m.

This is Good Friday

Good Friday Bare ChancelThe area near the Altar is bare of decoration.  This a result of the “Stripping of the Altar” on Maundy Thursday.  Candles for Good Friday are added, as well as a simple, wooden cross.

.

An Introduction to Good Friday – Tenebrae

We begin our liturgy as we ended the Maundy Thursday Liturgy: in silence. What was begun then continues this day as we journey with our Savior from the Last Supper, the stripping and humiliation, to the cross and tomb. Good Friday is the second day of the Triduum, the “Three Sacred Days” of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday with its Vigil of Easter.

The Good Friday Liturgy is marked with austerity, silence and reflection. The chancel itself is bare from the Maundy Thursday stripping. There is no organ music except to accompany the hymns. Everything focuses on our adoration of the crucified Christ, reigning from the throne of the cross.
The service of Tenebrae is an ancient Holy Week devotion which began in the 7th or 8th century, or possibly earlier. The name “Tenebrae” means shadows. The service takes its name from the ceremony of extinguishing in succession all the lights in the sanctuary, casting it into total darkness which is symbolic of the disciples’ desertion of our Lord, and of his death and burial.

The purpose of the Tenebrae Service is to aid us in realizing the total impact of the darkest day in the history of the world, the day Jesus died on the cross.
The opening portion of the liturgy includes no praise. It proceeds directly to the Invocation and Prayer of the Day. It is a simplified version of our Sunday Liturgy of the Word. The chief acts are the reading of the Passion of St. John and the Bidding Prayer for the needs of our world.

Following the final hymn is a meditation on the Seven Last Words of our Lord which he spoke from the cross. After each word is read, there will be a prayer and silent meditation. Lights and one candle will be extinguished after each meditation until the sanctuary is in darkness.
After the lights are all extinguished, the congregation will stand as the Paschal Candle is carried from the sanctuary reminding us of the burial of Jesus. A loud noise, made by the closing of a Bible, will remind us of the closing of the tomb. This announces the fulfilling of the Scriptures and the completion of our Lord’s work on the cross for us.
The Paschal Candle (called the Christ Candle during Advent/Christmas) will not return until the beginning of the Great Vigil of Easter on Saturday evening at 7 p.m. On Good Friday we recognize that Jesus was fully dead and was placed in the borrowed tomb.

Note: The return of the Paschal Candle moments after the loud noise is a form of the Good Friday service designed to be used in those congregations which do not have the Great Vigil of Easter.
All will leave in silence to return tomorrow as we wait in vigil and then celebrate our Lord’s resurrection at the Great Vigil of Easter. At the Vigil tomorrow evening we will have the first Holy Communion in celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Schedule for the rest of Holy Week:
Easter Vigil – Saturday – 7:00 p.m. – in sanctuary
Resurrection Sunrise service at 7:30 a.m. at the Carmine Cemetery.
(Bring your own chairs for seating at the cemetery)
Breakfast in the fellowship hall at 8 a.m.
Festival Resurrection Service at 9:00 a.m.
Egg hunt and party for the children. ~10:15 a.m.

Preparing for Maundy Thursday

CommunionBreadWineThursday, April 2 is our Maundy Thursday service.  We invite you to gather with the people of God at MLLC at 7:00 p.m.

We believe it is an important and faith enriching experience to be part of these special days.  Worship will be each night at 7:00 p.m.  These Three Days together are called the Great Triduum.

*Maundy Thursday – April 2 – We connect with the events of the Last Supper of Jesus with his Apostles.  We also remember his betrayal and arrest.

*Good Friday – April 3 – We connect with the suffering, death and entombment of Jesus Christ.

*The Great Vigil of Easter – April 4 – We remember the waiting of the followers of Jesus when he was in the tomb and before he was raised from the dead.  We celebrate the victory of the Resurrection from the dead of Jesus.

Here is the introduction we use for Maundy Thursday:

The Maundy Thursday service is one of endings and beginnings. What was begun on Ash Wednesday is brought to a close here today. What begins today does not end until the Day of Resurrection. It is the ancient Triduum, “The Three Sacred Days,” which lead us to the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.
The theme is love, our Savior’s love for us, expressed in the washing of the disciples’ feet, in giving himself in bread and wine, in dying upon the cross. An invitation to confession is given. The focus is on forgiveness. On Ash Wednesday, we began Lent with a major act of confession and ashes, but we did not receive a strong statement of forgiveness in the absolution. That bold announcement of forgiveness comes now, “In the mercy of almighty God,” and “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” at the service celebrating Christ’s love.
The lessons of love are read. A new command derives from it: “Love one another.” The name “Maundy” comes from the first word of the Latin form of John 13:34: “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos” (“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”). This self-giving love is demonstrated in the washing of feet. The prayers are said. The table is made ready. The time of the Lord’s Supper arrives, and our Lord is revealed in bread and wine as once he “revealed himself to his disciples.” It is a solemn moment, but we cannot linger here. Nor could the Lord, for His betrayal was imminent.
Before we know it, the markings of betrayal are seen before us. The symbol of Christ in our midst, the altar, is stripped bare. Christ is stripped of his power and glory. Good Friday is inescapable. The powers of darkness work upon him.
In silence, we depart without benediction. The Three Sacred Days continue with the Good Friday service on April 3 at 7:00 p.m. We will also gather on Saturday evening, April 4 at 7 p.m. for the Vigil of Easter.

Palms and Quilts for the Glory of God

Palm Sunday 2015 Pastor Procession

As always we celebrated a joyful Palm Sunday at MLLC.  It was great to have a wonderful crowd for our Saturday evening and Sunday morning worship services.  Together we remembered the work of Jesus Christ as he entered Jerusalem on a donkey.  This entry began the week of dramatic events which provided for the salvation from the final power of sin, death and evil for all who would believe in him.

Our young people were joyful leaders in the Palm Procession.  The group circled the sanctuary while we sang the traditional “All Glory, Laud and Honor”.  The Palms were then placed before the altar to remember that the people covered the road with palms over which Jesus rode the donkey.

Palm Sunday 2015 Lined Up

Palm Sunday 2015 Lined Up 4

Palm Sunday 2015 Lined Up 2

Some of the children also gathered up front for the Children’s Time.  As part of this time the youth learned about the quilts and where these are sent around the world.

Palm Sunday 2015 Children's Sermon

 

Later during worship we dedicated the quilts and kits for Lutheran World Relief.

Our numbers are not quite final, but here is a general tally:

22 Quilts

2 Fabric Kits

70 School Kits

7 Baby Care Kits

and we are in the process of completing a great number of Personal Care Kits

Here are how the quilts were displayed.  Note the palms before the altar.

Palm Sunday 2015 Quilt from front

Palm Sunday 2015 Quilt Close up

There is a wonderful article on the Lutheran World Relief web page about the Mission Quilts.  You are encouraged to click over to this page to read more about this wonderful ministry.

The quilts displayed in the sanctuary on Palm Sunday were the ones for Lutheran World Relief.  Many more are prepared and sent to two other ministries.  Several are made for Camp for All in Burton.  A set are also made for Krause Children’s Center in Katy.

More on Palm Sunday

Quilt Palm Sunday Light

We are looking forward to a joyful Palm Sunday 2015.  There is always much to do to get ready for this special event.  This is the beginning of Holy Week – click here for our schedule.

Some things of note regarding worship this weekend:

1.  We will dedicate the quilts for Lutheran World Relief.  See the photo above which was taken right after our quilts were placed for this dedication.  Photo Credit:  Melissa Wickel.

2.  We invite children to participate in the Procession of Palms on Sunday.  We gather in the Narthex for this joyful celebration of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.  Plan now to participate.

3.  We will have worship on both Saturday night at 6:00 p.m., and on Sunday at 9:00 a.m., on Palm Sunday weekend.