On Thursday, April 6 at 5:30 pm, West Suffield Congregational will hold the least attended service of the year, but it is also the most beautiful. It is called Maundy Thursday or sometimes, Holy Thursday. The Deacons and Pastor will read scripture that leads up to the crucifixion. The church will be dimly lit, with a candlelit table set in the front of the church. Once a scripture is read, a candle is extinguished until only the Christ Candle is left to be carried out of the sanctuary while the bells toll. People leave in silence. The music is solemn and reflects the faith, humility and sorrow that Jesus demonstrated during his journey to the cross.
The first time I attended one of these services as a parishioner, I went and sat in my car for 20 minutes afterwards so that I could hold onto the peace I felt. I was stunned by the beauty of the service, and wondered why I was one of eight or nine people from the congregation to attend. `The pastor explained that it is one of those services people have to go to before they can possibly understand how sacred it is. I have found his insight to hold true now that I am a pastor myself. I would love to see that change, for no other reason than that I want to share the beauty of it. Our church would love to introduce you to this quiet, meaningful worship service.
The next night, Good Friday, the church will be open from 4 to 7 p.m. for a vigil. The church will be set up with meditational readings and stations while Taize music plays in the background. Again it is a solemn night, as we contemplate the crucifixion and life of Jesus. People can come and go as they please, lighting candles, saying their prayers or just having a quiet respite from a busy world.
Sunday at 10, we commence with joy, the darkness dispelled! Please join us in a musical, upbeat service as we celebrate the resurrection! An Easter egg hunt follows, so come for not just the hope of Easter, but for the giggles that follow.