When I was growing up, attending church for all the services of holy week was a given. On Thursday we remembered the institution of the Lord’s Supper. On Friday, we came at both noon, remembering the time Jesus spent on the cross, and again in the evening, as candles were extinguished and the church became eerily dark. On Sunday, we were up for a sunrise service and then another service later in the morning.
It’s always a challenge for me to remember that many have not grown up with these traditions, so it does not occur to them to come to church on any day other than Sunday. I have to remind myself to walk them through the passion of our Lord, rather than assuming they know it, for many just don’t know the story. If we don’t get a chance to pause and think of the agonizing prayer in the garden, the betrayal and denial, the false charges, the cries and “crucify him,” and the cruel nails of crucifixion, we may miss some of the impact of the resurrection, too.
I owe my parents and the church I grew up in a debt of gratitude for making sure I got the complete experience of holy week. I hope I get a chance to pass that along to others.