Holy Week service plans announced

Pastor Jeff announced plans for marking the holiest week of the church year.

The Palm Sunday worship service (March 29) will center around a cantata presented by our choir. At the Ninth Hour was written in 2009 by composer Allen Pote and librettist Tom Long. Based on the Gospel of Mark, Pote and Long have created a beautiful retelling of last week of Christ’s life, with passionate music, riveting lyrics, and narration. The work’s memorable melodies interact beautifully with Long’s compelling lyrics to provide a profoundly moving musical work, which effectively commemorates the sacrifice, grief, and beauty of the events leading up to Easter. The work is scored for chorus, soloists, and piano accompaniment.

The service will begin with a parade, starting on the patio at the east end of the building. Waving palm fronds, we will parade the along Niles Blvd. sidewalk, to the west entrance into the building, and then into the sanctuary, remembering Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.

There will be an inter-church potluck followed by a formal worship service on Maundy Thursday, April 2, in the social hall of the Niles Discovery Church facilities at 36600 Niles Blvd., Fremont. People from Niles Discovery Church, Filipino-America UCC, Little Brown Church of Sunol, Fremont Congregational Church, and Filipino-America Evangelical UCC, will begin arriving at 5:30 and setting up the buffet line for the pot-luck dinner. The dinner will begin with a prayer at 6:00 and will be a relaxed time for people from the various congregations to meet one another and learn about each other’s congregations.

At 7:15, with the bulk of the post-dinner clean-up completed, the gathered people will move into the sanctuary for the celebration of Communion and a service of Tenebrae. Latin for “shadows” or “darkness,” the Tenebrae service recounts Christ’s passion. A distinctive element of the service is the gradual extinguishing of candles.

On Good Friday, April 3, the Niles Discovery Church sanctuary will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. for drop in meditation. Pastor Jeff and Pastor Brenda will be present for prayer and anointing. Participants will be invited to reflect on the crucifixion through art. Supplies for drawing, poetry, and other media will be available along with questions to prompt your creativity.

There will be two Easter services on April 5. The sunrise service will be held at the Niles Town Plaza at 6:30. The service will include singing, story, and communion. As we have in the past couple years, we hope to be able to head over to the Nile Café after the service for breakfast (as of the press deadline, this still needs to be confirmed).

The celebration of the resurrection will continue at the 10:00 festival Easter service, held in the sanctuary. Joy abounds with choruses of “Alleluia,” special anthems from the choir, and communion.

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