Holy Week Preparations


Dear FBCR Family,

A deeply meaningful season of worship is upon at a very unusual time. While this global pandemic is full of grief, disappointment and loss it also offers us an opportunity. We proclaim year in and year out that even at the grave our song shall be “Alleluia!” This year we have an opportunity to put that into practice. We are in the midst of a time marked by suffering, fear, and death. In the coming two weeks of worship we will have opportunities to look full in the face of suffering and still let our voices rise to God in praise.

We can’t do that alone though, so please familiarize yourself with a few things below so you can chip in and be part of the celebrations of the coming days.

Palm Sunday

Procession of Palms

An invitation to worshipers who are young and young at heart (and their families). We want you to lead our digital procession of palms for Palm Sunday this Sunday. Sometime this weekend, go into your yard and search. Search high and low to find a leaf, a branch, a flower or something palm-like. When you’ve found your “palm” parade around your yard. If you have siblings or others who want to parade with you, line up and make a real procession of it. Wave that palm like you’re waving to Jesus himself. Have a parent or friend or someone else video you while you’re doing that. Then go the www.rochesterfbc.org/worship-online and use the “Upload Palm Video” button to upload your video before Saturday at 4:00 PM. We’ll watch our young and young-at-heart worshipers “process” on Sunday morning to lead our service.

Communion

In addition to Palm Sunday, we also celebrate Communion this week. Let me invite you to set aside some communion elements for Sunday. If you have bread and grape juice, that’s wonderful. If you don’t, you can use a cracker or something similar. If you don’t have grape juice you can use wine, some other fruit juice, or really just about anything. If all you have are twinkies and Coca Cola, that will be just fine. On Sunday, we’ll celebrate our communion with one another even across our distance.

Good Friday

Join us on Zoom on Friday, April 10 at 7:05 PM for an online Tenebrae Service (service of darkness) that commemorates the death of Jesus. The theme of our service will be lament and as we experience the gradual abandonment of Jesus by his disciples signified in the extinguishing of 12 candles we will hear from members of the congregation who will give music and voice to the laments we’re experiencing in the midst of this pandemic and generally within life.

This service is an intentionally dark and somber moment of worship that brings us into proximity with the death of Jesus. It also ends abruptly with no benediction or resolution. That’s because it is actually the beginning of a full weekend of worship that will lead us to Easter Sunday. It is possible though, that this emotional load will be particularly heavy this year in the midst of the pandemic and with our congregation experiencing recent and pending loss. For that reason I will meet again in Zoom a few minutes following the service for a time of debriefing, and processing anything you might wish to talk about.

Easter Sunday

We will celebrate the resurrection in a way few if any of us ever have -online- on April 12 at 10:00 AM. The service will feature the music of David Labman and our section leaders, digital brass, and more. I will have a word on what it means to celebrate resurrection in the midst of a pandemic. Join us through www.rochesterfbc.org/worship-online.

In addition to Easter, we also celebrate Communion this week. Let me invite you to set aside some communion elements for Sunday. If you have bread and grape juice, that’s wonderful. If you don’t, you can use a cracker or something similar. If you don’t have grape juice you can use wine, some other fruit juice, or really just about anything. If all you have are twinkies and Coca Cola, that will be just fine. On Sunday, we’ll celebrate our communion with one another even across our distance.

Even in these trying times our cry will be Alleluia!

Pastor Brent