Five services at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 537 Bolton St., Marlborough, will mark the week leading up to Easter. The Christian Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday on March 25. St. Stephen’s 9:30 am service will start outside, weather permitting, where worshipers will be given palms, and will process into the church.
“Like those in Jerusalem, we raise our palms in adoration of Jesus as he enters the holy city,” noted Pastor Joseph Graumann. The next two services take place on Thursday and Friday, March 29 and 30, both at 6:30 p.m. On March 29, known as Maundy Thursday, “we commemorate Jesus’ last supper with his friends. On Good Friday, we gather around the cross on the day Jesus died to hear how an instrument of death becomes for us the tree of life,” the pastor added.
An Easter Vigil will take place at 7:15 pm on Saturday, March 31. As the sun sets, there will be an unveiling of a cross of flowers, marking the new life that springs from it. With Easter morning comes a 9:30 a.m. festival service, celebrating Jesus’ resurrection with Word, Sacrament, and special music from the bell and anthem choirs.
“The St. Stephen Anthem Choir will sing G. F. Handel's exuberant setting of Hallelujah, Amen and Lani Smith's rousing Love So Amazing , a setting of the 15th century Latin Hymn O Sons and Daughters,” said Stan Hanson, music director. Handbell musicians will also offer a selection. “The St. Stephen Ringers will play Michael Ryan's jubilant Let Joyful Alleluias Ring!, a piece that weaves together four triumphant Easter hymns.” Hanson will play organ
voluntaries that will include music of J.S. Bach and Charles-Marie Widor.
Following the service, there will be a potluck brunch. The public is invited to all services as well as the brunch that features spring favorites made by church members and friends.
For more information about St. Stephen Lutheran Church, visit www.saintstephenlutheran.com or the church’s Facebook page. Saint Stephen is a member of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (www.elca.org) The church is a Reconciling in Christ congregation, inviting people of every gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, marital status, or class. Parishioners come from Marlborough, Hudson, Berlin, Northborough, Southborough, Westborough, Shrewsbury, Stow, Sudbury, and Bolton. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is the nation’s largest Lutheran church, with approximately four million members split into 65 synods, or territories, across the United States and the Caribbean.