Spring semester is upon us, which means many things: Warmer weather, finals, Alumni weekend, and an extra day off for Good Friday. But why do we get Good Friday off anyways?
Roanoke College is a Lutheran school affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. For the Lutherans, Lent is a season of fasting and reflection of when Jesus spent forty days in the desert being tempted by the devil. At the end of Lent comes Holy week. Holy week starts with Palm Sunday, includes Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. It is followed by the joy and celebration of Easter Sunday.
On Maundy Thursday, Lutherans remember how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. This is representative of how he was a servant leader to them. It also remembers the night of the last supper.
Good Friday is the remembrance of Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion. It is a service of mourning Christ’s death.
Holy Saturday is a day and service of anticipation. People enter darkened churches Saturday night, and the service starts with the lighting of a new fire and a new candle for the upcoming year. Often times the service includes many prophetic readings from the Old and New Testament, culminating in the first celebration of communion and symbolic of Jesus’ resurrection.
Finally, Easter Sunday is a somewhat normal church service and celebration of communion. This is one of the most attended church services in the U.S. These full services are often followed by secular celebrations of Easter like Easter Egg hunts and brunch, as well as family reunions.
For students interested in going to celebrate Holy Week on campus, Chaplain Chris will be having services on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, both at Noon in Antrim Chapel.
There are also a number of wonderful services in our local community where students can explore special evening services, as well as Sunday morning services. The ones closest include:
St Paul’s Episcopal Church: 42 E Main St (540) 389-9307
Salem Baptist Church: 103 N Broad St (540) 387-0416
Salem Presbyterian Church: 41 East Main Street (540) 389-3881
First United Methodist Church: 125 W Main St (540) 389-5459
College Lutheran Church: 210 S College Ave (540) 389-4963