(Picture: A first-century Jewish tomb in Emmaus, seen from the inside looking out.)
The National Council of Churches (NCC) joins with Christians Uniting in Christ (CUIC) and Christian Churches Together (CCT) in sending a letter to congregations across the United States. The letter issues “an invitation to join together in witnessing to the resurrection of Jesus for all in the United States to see.”
The letter states, “Holy Week is April 6-12 for Western Christians and April 13-19 for Orthodox Christians. If we are still being asked to remain physically separated from each other and our worship spaces, would you consider inviting your congregations to do one or more of the following as a witness to our jointly held faith in Christ?”
Christians are asked to join in specific acts of worship as they celebrate this unprecedented Holy Week and Easter. The letter, a poster, and a children’s coloring page can be downloaded at the links below. Please share these resources with your congregations and friends:
- Share in a home foot-washing with those with whom you are sheltering in place on Holy Thursday to replicate Jesus asking his disciples to serve each other.
- Share in prayers at home on Good Friday and blow out a candle to symbolize the crucifixion.
- Hang white Christmas lights (or other lights, or electric candles) on Holy Saturday and turn them on Easter morning in time for what might have been your Easter Sunrise service.
- Hang the attached template of a cross and dove (maybe colored by your children) in your front window or on your front door.
- Write in chalk on your driveway or sidewalk the words, “Christ is risen!”
- Ring your church bells at noon on Easter Day.
- Step outside with the persons with whom you are sheltering in place and offer a prayer of thanksgiving.
- View an additional online service of a church of another racial or ethnic background and offer your prayers for that community.
Links provided along with the letter: