Seasons & Special Services
Seasons of Worship
Season of Advent
The Christian year begins with Advent. The word Advent comes from the Latin advenire, which means “coming.” The season focuses on the coming of Jesus Christ in the past (as incarnate Son), in the present (as risen Lord), and in the future (as heavenly ruler). Thus we can say: “Christ has come, Christ is coming, Christ will come again.” Advent is a season of joyous and solemn expectation. The liturgical color is purple, symbolic of a spirit of preparation. Advent is commemorated at RRCB in worship with the Advent wreath, a circle of evergreens with four-colored candles, one lit each Sunday in Advent, representing Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. There is a fifth, white candle in the center of the wreath, the Christ Candle. The white candle is lit on Christmas Eve to commemorate the coming of the Christ child.
Season of Lent
The Season of Pentecost
Day of Pentecost
All Saints Sunday
Christ the King Sunday
Holy Week & Easter
How Will You Spend Your Holy Week?
Growing up, I was often in churches that seemed to skip Holy Week altogether. We celebrated Palm Sunday, then came back together for an Easter “Sonrise” service. We sometimes talked about the crucifixion and death of Christ, but it was in passing and focused on the Resurrection with little spoken about the horror and betrayal that was the reality of the death of Christ.
But as I’ve grown in my faith, I’ve begun to understand that we cannot fully appreciate the resurrection without experiencing the darkness of Good Friday. We cannot understand the betrayal and hurt Jesus felt without knowing how he cared for his disciples in the washing of feet and sharing of a meal.
This year, Holy Week begins this Sunday where we will celebrate with palms and look forward to the week ahead by learning about Christ’s Passion and death. But is only one hour of worship enough to reflect on such a momentous part of our faith? What can we do to deepen this week’s experience leading to Easter morning?
At RRCB, we have a few ways you can experience the intensity of what it means that Christ suffered and died before arriving on Easter Sunday. Will you join us?
Palm Sunday Service of Worship
Sunday, March 25, 2018
11:00 a.m., Sanctuary
Sermon by Daniel Glaze
“Palms, Passion, Pain, and Patience”
Palm Sunday has another name: Passion Sunday. There is the parade, and there is the realization of where that parade leads. The parade celebrating Jesus is a triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Yes, it is celebratory, but it is also a journey to his death. We may be tempted to go from waving our palm branches to shouting “He is risen!” on Easter Sunday, but that would be a mistake. There is spiritual blessing in taking the journey with Jesus to the cross.
Anthems by the Chancel Choir and Chancel Bell Choir
Palm Sunday is the day we remember the “triumphal entry” of Jesus into Jerusalem, exactly one week before His resurrection. Palms are distributed at this service. The processional will be led by the children waving palms, reminiscent of the crowd greeting Jesus. A reception will follow the service in the Fellowship Hall.
Easter Egg Hunt
Sunday, March 25, 2018, Following Worship
Preschool: Chapel Hall
Elementary: Lower Commons
Daily Mediation Times
Chapel Open for Prayer
Monday-Friday, March 26-30, 2018
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Please feel free to visit our Chapel during Holy Week. Devotional material will be in the Chapel narthex.
Labyrinth Walk & Stations of the Cross
Monday-Saturday, March 26-31, 2018
Fellowship Hall (Please enter through the Fellowship Hall doors on the Plaza)
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Our canvas labyrinth is a replica of the one originally laid in the twelfth century in the floor of the Chartes Cathedral in France. As Holy Week comes to a close, River Road Church cordially invites you to experience a meditative walk. Written material on the last words of Christ as well as material about the labyrinth’s history and symbolism will be available. We suggest that you allow approximately 45 to 60 minutes for the labyrinth experience. Please begin your meditation before the end times listed.
The Stations of the Cross will be in the Fellowship Hall along with the Labyrinth. The walk takes no longer than a lunch break. The fourteen Stations of the Cross trace Jesus’ path from Pilate’s house to Golgotha to His tomb, mixing some events that we find in Scripture with some that come to us via the tradition of the church. Each station will have a written explanation and prayer. You may walk and read these to yourself or come in a group and have a person read at each station.
No Wednesday Night Dinner & Thoughtful Faith Community
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Pizza Dinner & Children’s Musical Rehearsal
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
- 4:30-5:15 p.m.: River Road Camerata, Choir Room
- 5:15-6:00 p.m.: Dinner, Lower Commons (Menu: Pizza)
- 6:00-7:00 p.m.: Children’s Musical Rehearsal, Choir Room
Maundy Thursday Service of Remembrance & Tenebrae
Thursday, March 29, 2018
7:30 p.m., Sanctuary
Anthems by the Chancel Choir
(Childcare provided by request; please contact Kim Crowley)
This evening will focus on two important events. First, we observe a special Communion service in memory of Jesus’ Last Supper with His disciples. Second, Jesus’ self-giving act for our salvation is observed through Tenebrae, a ritual in which the gradual extinguishing of the candles occurs while the story of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion is read.
Easter Service of Worship
Sunday, April 1, 2018
11:00 a.m., Sanctuary
Prelude music begins at 10:35 a.m.
Sermon by Daniel Glaze
“Easter is Your Story Too!”
The traditional (shorter) ending of Mark’s gospel concludes rather abruptly. Why is that? Is it possible that we are to continue the story? I’d like to explore how we see ourselves in the Easter Story and continue resurrection in our own lives and communities.
Music by the Chancel Choir, Brass Quintet, and Timpani
The service is marked by joy and emphasizes the Easter theme of new life. We will worship together at 11:00 a.m. Sunday School classes are planning their own fellowship gatherings before worship. If you’d like to attend a class gathering that morning, please ask one of the greeters for assistance.
Lay Reader Program
At River Road Church, Baptist, we have a Lay Reader Program that encourages members of our congregation to assist in worship leadership by reading the two lessons each Sunday morning.
Each week our lay readers are given the Lectionary lessons, which they read at their leisure, in order to grasp the meaning and cadence of the text. During the week, they come to the Sanctuary and practice reading each lesson from the lectern to get the “feel” of the sound of their voices projected in our high-ceilinged Sanctuary.
The benefits? It allows laity greater involvement in our worship. It gives clergy an opportunity to hear Scripture as the congregation does. It enables worshippers to connect faces they see regularly with names of readers. Finally, it conveys to our worship guests that Scripture and worship are not the private prerogatives of robed-clergy.
William Underwood and Susan Gordon are providing leadership to our Lay Reader Program. If you would like additional information about the program, or if you would like to volunteer as a lay reader, you may contact them by e-mail.