Five services at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 537 Bolton St., Marlborough, will mark the week of April 14-21. The Christian Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday on April 14. The 9:30 am service will start outside, weather permitting, where worshipers will be given palms, and process into the church. “Like those in Jerusalem, we raise our palms in adoration of Jesus as he enters the holy city,” said Pastor Joseph Graumann. The choir anthem, “Cry Out Hosanna! Hosanna!” by Gilbert M. Martin will reflect the theme.
The next two services take place on Maundy Thursday, April 18, when those gathered will commemorate Jesus’ last supper with his friends, and Good Friday, April 19, when worshipers will hear how an instrument of death becomes for Christians the tree of life. Both services will be at 7:00 p.m. and each will include special music.
Candlelight, contemplation, cross decoration, communion, and even a christening will all be part of the Saturday, April 20 Easter Vigil that begins outside at 7:15 pm, just before sunset. Take a break from Easter preparations to hear parishioners’ personal stories based on biblical texts, and share in the joy of both a baptism, and the reveal of what the St. Stephen Art Guild has created for the large outside cross.
“As our annual Easter art project, we will cover the cross in stained-glass like colors, showing us that the cross is the lens through which God’s light shines,” said Pastor Graumann. In previous years, the cross was arrayed in a hand knit coat of yarn squares, and wreathed in flowers. Baptism is a much older Easter Vigil tradition, the pastor notes. “Since the early church, Christians have traditionally baptized newcomers at Easter Vigil. This year, as we celebrate Jesus’ passover through death into life, we rejoice in baptizing a new member.”