Ash Wednesday Worship, 7:00-7:45 PM
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent and emphasizes two themes: our sinfulness before God and our human mortality. The service focuses on both themes, helping us to realize that both have been triumphed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
During our Ash Wednesday service, Pastor Kirk will lightly rub the sign of the cross with ashes onto the foreheads of worshipers. The use of ashes as a sign of mortality and repentance has a long history in Jewish and Christian worship. Historically, ashes signified purification and sorrow for sins. Today, the ash cross on the forehead is an outward sign of our sorrow and repentance for sins.
It is traditional to save the palm branches from the previous Palm Sunday service to burn to produce ashes for this service helping our worship year to move in a full cycle.
—Adapted from The United Methodist Book of Worship
Hear the story of Jesus’ Last Supper with the disciples and experience Holy Communion in a unique and touching way.
We gather in the Sanctuary for our traditional Service of Tenebrae. The word “tenebrae” comes from the Latin meaning “darkness.” The Tenebrae is an ancient Christian Good Friday service that makes use of gradually diminishing light through the extinguishing of candles to symbolize the events of that week from the triumphant Palm Sunday entry through Jesus’ burial.
This increasing darkness symbolizes the approaching darkness of Jesus’ death and of hopelessness in the world without God. The service concludes in darkness with the final candle, the Christ candle, carried out of the sanctuary, symbolizing the death of Jesus. A loud noise will sound helping us to remember the torn curtain in the Temple or the earthquake at Jesus’ death or the closing of the tomb. We will then leave in silence to ponder the impact of Christ’s death and await the coming Resurrection.
Easter Sunrise has recently been celebrated with our neighbors, West Raleigh Presbyterian Church and Community United Church of Christ, alternating locations.
Each year, we share a “Thanksgiving Eve” service with four other congregations: Community United Church of Christ, Holy Trinity Lutheran, Pullen Memorial Baptist, and West Raleigh Presbyterian. The service rotates among congregations and includes performance by the five church’s combined choirs.
Christmas Eve enjoy Luminaries outside the church, Advent wreath, pine garlands, wreathes, and the Chrismon tree decorate the inside.
The service is at 5:00 pm – Service of Carols, Communion, Candlelight, special music (instrumental ensemble and choir).
Then at 6:15 pm is our Annual Dinner for the church community and homeless guests (from Helen Wright Center for Women, The Healing Place). Members sign up to bring great food.