Holy Week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday is an important and significant time of the liturgical year in Christian churches.
Father Robert Hart at St. Benedict’s Anglican Church, 870 Weaver Dairy Road, shared thoughts about this special season in the church calendar with information about events, some of which are marked in churches.
Here are his words:
“We remember most carefully the institution of the Lord’s Supper during the night in which Jesus was betrayed, on a day Anglican tradition calls by the old name ‘Maundy Thursday.’
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“Traditionally, this includes the stripping of the altar, a moving conclusion to the service that takes us directly to the mourning of what follows on ‘Good Friday.’ I was asked why Good Friday is so named inasmuch as it is the day when Jesus Christ was crucified. The only answer I can think of (which simply has to be correct) is that we look back on the Lord’s suffering and death as the great expression of his love for us.”
“The altar is not beautifully ornamented again until we are celebrating Christ’s Easter resurrection from the dead on the third day.”
The schedule at St. Benedict’s, a parish of the Anglican Catholic Church, includes Maundy Thursday service at 7 p.m.with Holy Communion and traditional stripping of the altar. Good Friday services are at noon and 6 p.m. The Holy Saturday Easter Vigil is at 6 p.m., and Easter Sunday worship at 11 a.m.
Stations of the Cross and a labyrinth walk, a special Holy Week project of the Department of Pastoral Care at UNC Hospitals, will be held from11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today (March 23) in the John M. Reeves All Faiths Chapel on first floor at Memorial Hospital.
Stations of the Cross, also known as the Way of the Cross, refers to a series of images depicting Jesus on the way to his crucifixion with accompanying prayers and readings.
The labyrinth is an ancient sacred path found in many cultures around the world, said the Rev. Patricia Cadle, oncology chaplain.
“It is a singular circuitous prayer/meditation path with no dead ends or wrong turns. Labyrinths are used as a way to find balance and renewal, to discover new insights and to find peace and healing.”
There are two labyrinths at UNC Hospitals. A seven-circuit one is in the chapel and an 11-circuit one is located in front of the N.C. Cancer Hospital and available to all walkers 24 hours a day.
An ecumenical Holy Week labyrinth, sponsored by a coalition of Chapel Hill congregations, is located in the sanctuary at Olin T. Binkley Memorial Baptist Church, 1712 Willow Drive.
Hours today and Thursday are from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. On Friday, music meditation will be from 11 a.m. to noon followed by the Good Friday service from noon to 1 p.m. People may walk during the service and afterward, until 1:30 p.m.
Sponsors are Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church, Church of Reconciliation Presbyterian, Church of the Advocate Episcopal, St. Thomas More Catholic, United Church of Chapel Hill, University United Methodist Church, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and Binkley Baptist. Also sponsoring is Friends of Christ School for Christian Spirituality.
An Easter sunrise service at 7:30 a.m. is set at New Hope Presbyterian Church, 4701 N.C. 86, between Chapel Hill and Hillsborough. The church’s choir will sing “With a Voice of Singing” by Martin Shaw, accompanied by saxophones and trumpets at both the sunrise and 11 a.m. services. The 11 a.m. service will include Holy Communion. It will end with the singing of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah. Breakfast, prepared by men of the church, will be served at 8:30 a.m., including eggs, sausage, bacon, grits, fruit and biscuits with Maple View milk and butter, plus jam and jelly. The community is welcome.
Holy Week and Easter services at University Presbyterian Church, 209 E. Franklin St. include Maundy Thursday, 7:30 p.m. with Holy Communion; Good Friday, 7:30 p.m. Service of Tenebrae; and Easter Sunday services at 8:30 and 11 a.m.
Taigen Dan Leighton will give a public Dharma Talk at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 27, at the Chapel Hill Zen Center on the “suchness of things.”
“Suchness” is described in Indian Buddhism as ultimate truth, reality and the source. Following his presentation, a book signing of his new book “Just This is It: Donghan and the Practice of Suchness” will be held.
Leighton is a Soto Zen priest in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki. He is the Dharma teacher of the ancient Dragon Zen Gate Temple in Chicago. He also teaches online at the Institute of Buddhist Studies of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley where he studied.
The Zen Center is located at 5322 N.C. 86. This is 2.5 miles north of I-40 at Exit 266.