What an inspiring article! I grew up with my Adventist church ignoring Easter, and wondered why. The best explanation given was that it was “Catholic”.
As an young adult I began a long career as organist/choirmaster in several Episcopal churches. So, again, this week I planned the music for, accompanied, and conducted the music at my local Episcopal Church.
We began with Lent back in February. Say what you want - but I see little difference between that and a week of prayer (and fasting). It is a time of special focus on our spiritual lives - renewing and strengthening them. Many Episcopal (Lutheran, etc.) churches have mid-week meetings during Lent very similar to the old traditional Adventist week of prayer meetings.
Palm Sunday - last week - we remembered not only Jesus’ triumphal entry, but the fact that he did not make himself a king and was quickly rejected. Even some of his disciples denied him.
“Maundy Thursday” - we gathered around a large table in the fellowship hall for a simple supper of lentil soup, pita bread, and cheese. Nothing else. No dessert. This was followed by the service of foot washing during which almost everyone participated. (It was not segregated by gender.) Then we silently walked into the sanctuary and the communion service followed - remembering the night of the “last supper”.
Today, Good Friday, we gathered again at noon - entering the sanctuary in silence. No prelude music. No talking/greeting. Many knelt in prayer. Then we read from the scriptures again about Christ’s sacrifice. Interspersed were 6 congregational hymns. After the last hymn we left in total silence, and some people remained to pray. I was so moved that I was too chocked up to sing along on the hymns.
Saturday evening the church will gather again to remember how Jesus rested in the tomb over the Sabbath day!
I, too, fail to understand why Adventists have largely ignored this as it is centered on Scripture.
Tomorrow morning (Sabbath) the Adventist church where I am the organist will have a large Easter pageant. It will have spent no time remembering why we have Easter. Nothing will happen there on Sunday morning to celebrate the day Christ rose from the dead. There will be no opportunity for reflection, to consider the solemn events that led up to the resurrection day.
Adventists miss so much because the church usually seems to throw out all the good of Lent and “Holy Week”, labeling it Roman Catholic.
That you, Dr. Pearson, for so beautifully reminding us the beautiful observances we too often miss.