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