Holy Week

Journey to the cross.

The Lenten season begins with ashes and continues with a journey of 40 days. The Episcopal and Presbyterian Churches founded Westminster Canterbury Richmond, and we opened in 1975 as a faith-based charitable organization. We celebrate the journey to the cross during Holy Week.

Lent is a time when we remember the prayer and fasting that Jesus Christ experienced in the wilderness. It is one of the oldest observations on the Christian calendar, and the purpose has remained constant: penitence and self-denial in preparation for Easter. Early church father Irenaus of Lyons (c.130-c.200) wrote of such a season, but back then it lasted only two or three days. In 325, the Council of Nicea discussed a 40-day Lenten season of fasting.

The prayerful observances of Holy Week conclude with the joyful celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter. Here are suggestions for incorporating the spirit of compassion and caring as you make your personal journey to the cross:

  • Invite friends who do not have family to join you for Holy Week services and Easter brunch.
  • Visit shut-ins, and bring them a program from their home church. Or help them find an Easter service on television, and watch it with them.
  • Sing the Easter hymns with loved ones who have memory issues, and experience the joy of music together.

Remembering that Jesus Christ shares in our suffering because he was a human being like us may ease our own pain, and living in a supportive community may bring us comfort. Here’s the schedule for the 2016 Holy Week services in Westminster Canterbury Richmond’s Montague Chapel:

  • Maundy Thursday Holy Communion, The Rev. Weston Matthews, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 10:30 a.m., TV970
  • Liturgy of Good Friday Service, 10:30 a.m.
  • Easter Sunday Holy Communion, The Rev. Dr. Lynn McClintock Pastoral Care, 4 p.m.

Each year, Westminster Canterbury Richmond produces a Lenten Journey booklet, featuring devotionals from residents and staff, which you may enjoy by clicking here. For questions, contact Vanessa Perry in our Pastoral Care department at 804-200-1502.

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