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Trail to the King: A Holy Week Crossing to the Empty Tomb

Even though Lent is a season of reflection with a somber tone, there is much to look forward to, as we near the end of this journey to the cross. This year we have focused on this journey as one of wilderness, and we are blessed to hold some special elements of our final week and a half of Lent in 2019:

"Living Last Supper" - Friday, April 12th, 7pm:

We are delighted to be one of three hosts for this beloved tradition, as folks can come and experience "with the apostles and begin to understand the true meaning of the Last Supper". Click here for more information.

"Palm Sunday" worship - Saturday & Sunday, April 13th/14th at our regular worship times

Whether in triumph or anxious anticipation of the cross, it is a big moment - with palms, songs and readings to mark our first waypoint in our Holy Week wilderness  path. We begin with our human "hosannas" to Jesus, unaware of the dark path (to Friday) that Christ was traveling for our sake...

Maundy Thursday, April 18th at 5:30pm (followed by worshp around 6:30pm)

This year we partake in the Seder Meal, starting earlier in our Fellowship Hall. After eating a substantive meal, we will celebrate the ancient "Passover" story and the final ("Last") supper Jesus enjoyed with his disciples, coupled with the (optional) footwashing ritual within the context of the 6:30pm worship service. We end the service with a reading of Psalm 22 and a stripping-down of the altar.

Good Friday, April 19th at 7pm (and earlier* that afternoon): 

This year we have two highlights:

*The "Seven Last Words of Jesus" Community service at Central United Methodist Church from 12:15-3pm on Friday, April 18th, where our very own Pr. Paul will be preaching! Pr. Paul's "word" is the 3rd Word: “Woman, here is you son” (John 19:25-27) from around 1:05-1:25pm (but we encourage you to attend the whole service if you are able!)


Our 7pm Good Friday evening service at Bethlehem, April 18th, where the bare altar and dark veil help remind us of the sadness of a Friday that was "Good" only because Christ went to the cross for our sake. This year we will partake in a special "Tenebrae" music service.

Holy Saturday / Easter Vigil, April 20th - 7pm:

Most folks say that Easter begins on Holy Saturday. For that reason, the ancient Christian churches often did most or all of their baptisms for the year on this night. At Bethlehem we watch the "dawn from on high breaking upon us." Come and see for yourself the power of the opening tomb!

Easter Sunday, April 20th - 8:30 a.m. & 11 a.m.: 

Celebration of the resurrection, in-full! Join us for a morning of Easter resurrection praise!

We will also have a pancake breakfast between services on Easter morning, from 9:30-11am. All are welcome!

Bethlehem Lutheran Church
1050 Peninsula Drive
Traverse City, MI 49686-2799
Phone: 231.947.9880