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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Why Didn't They Tell Me? Church Revealed!

Most of us just finished our Easter dinner with the family.  We have at least one or two people with their pants unbuttoned snoring on the couch.  Most of us even know that Easter is not just about the Easter Bunny, but the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.  I have been Christian all my life, however I just started attending a Lutheran church at the request of my husband.  He had been brought up in this church and our other church was a little too flamboyant for him. 
For those of you who aren't familiar with the Lutheran church, it is quite similar to the Catholic church in that it is very formal, scripted, and steeped in tradition.  The only problem with this is I don't know the traditions.  Where is the Lutheran hand book?  Our congregation is mostly made up of older people who have been doing this a long time, but how can we bring in new members if we don't let them know what is going on?  So, I wanted to take a moment and let you know some of the things I learned this week, and other things I found online.  Feel free to comment on things that you think people should know about your church.
  • Lent..this starts on Ash Wednesday and lasts until Easter.  Many of you have heard of giving things up for lent.  Though the Lutheran church doesn't require it, many of us did give things up.  The things I didn't know about this was, Sundays are typically not counted because Sundays represent the resurrection.  There are 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter if you don't count Sundays.  We give something up to represent what Christ gave for us. 
  • Holy Week.  This is the last week of Lent.  There are a few days that I knew about during holy week and few that I had no idea on.  These are the big days to know.  Palm Sunday is the day that Jesus came to Jerusalem.  Maundy Thursday which is the day that we celebrate the seder meal.  Good Friday the day that Jesus was arrested and crucified.  Easter Sunday the day of his resurrection.
  • Maundy Thursday our church held a seder meal.  This is not just your average little dinner party.  This is a commemoration of the passover meal. 
  • Typically there is a Good Friday service, what no one told me is it is the equivalent of a funeral.  While most people were respectfully wearing black, I had no idea.
  • Easter at our church there is a cross to decorate with flowers, but I have heard that it is very common to bring Easter Lillies or flowers of some sort to this occasion.
  • Communion was something new to me as well and our church takes communion twice a month.  When I first started attending the church, I was not allowed to take communion.  I am thinking this is pretty judgmental of the church.  Then I took my adult confirmation class and learned the importance of what communion symbolizes. 
As I learn more I will try to share, but I really think that churches should remember that some people are very new to their church and make sure that everyone knows what is happening and the symbolism behind it.  Share your story with us as well!!

Some of the holy week information take from and is copyrighted by him.  There is a lot of information on his website if you have other questions about religion.

1 comment:

  1. hi Kori I have to tell you that I have been a Lutheran all my life and I still would like to see the handbook. when we first moved to the valley and Heather was nearing conformation we started attending Good Shepherd church and one of the first times it went so fast we didn't know what we were getting into. But the fact that it's made up of mostly older people it is still fun to talk to them and listen to them. anyways maybe we just need to make a handbook...give it to the newbies and the young adults who could be just as lost as the newbies. anyways thank you for your views...hang in there and i'm a really good listener if you ever want to talk about anything :) I work with kids so i know that adult conversation is always a needed thing :) have a good day -Rachael


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