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SATURDAY, MARCH 31, 2007
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Sunday launches Holy Week services

By Melanie B. Smith
msmith@decaturdaily.com 340-2468

Children waving palm branches, the congregation singing "Hosanna!" and joy pervading the service characterize Palm Sunday services in churches worldwide.

The start of Holy Week is a celebration. So is the end, Easter Sunday, when Jesus is proclaimed a risen Savior.

But in between the Sundays are solemn ceremonies recalling Jesus' Last Supper, arrest and crucifixion.

These are among local church commemorations of Holy Week:

King's Memorial United Methodist Church will have a Palm Sunday procession and parade and Holy Communion at 11 a.m. A Holy Wednesday service will be at 6:30 p.m., led by Niger Woodruff and the youth group. Holy Thursday communion will be at 6:30 p.m. with the Rev. Franklin Elliott speaking. Good Friday worship will be at 6:30 p.m. with Clifford Chair speaking.

Holy Week services at St. John's Episcopal Church will be Monday and Tuesday at 12:10 p.m. in its chapel. A Maundy Thursday service will at 6 p.m. and a Good Friday service at 12:10 p.m., both in the sanctuary.

Decatur First United Methodist Church will have Bishop Joe Pennell Jr., retired Virginia Conference bishop who formerly served churches in Nashville, as speaker for a Maundy Thursday service of Holy Communion at 6 p.m. He also will speak Good Friday for a noon service, followed by lunch. Lunch is $5; reservations are required by calling 355-0277.

A Maundy Thursday service will be at Decatur First Presbyterian Church at 6:30 p.m. It is a combined service with Westminster and St. Andrew Presbyterian churches.

St. Paul's Lutheran Church will host the Jews for Jesus organization for a Maundy Thursday presentation at 6 p.m. "Christ Our Passover" is based on the Jewish feast. St. Paul's also will have Good Friday worship at noon and 7 p.m. and an Easter Vigil service Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

Athens First Presbyterian Church will have Holy Week community services through Friday at noon. Speakers will be: the Rev. Jeremy Lucas of St. Timothy's Episcopal Church on Monday, the Rev. Edwin Jenkins of Athens First Baptist Church on Tuesday, the Rev. Jimmy Bassham of Athens First United Methodist Church on Wednesday, the Rev. Terry Jackson of Athens Church of God on Thursday and the Rev. Rob Phraner of New Life Assembly of God Church on Friday. Devotionals will be in the sanctuary. Lunch will follow in the Rodgers Center.

Athens First Presbyterian also will have Maundy Thursday worship at 7 p.m.

Clements Baptist Church will present "Worthy is the Lamb" Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m.

Decatur First Baptist Church will have a Good Friday Service of Shadows at 6 p.m.

"Signs, Symbols and Silly Putty," a display interpreting Christ's life through flowers, will be on display at 2202 Fleetwood Drive S.E. through April 7, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lucy McCain will conduct walk-throughs each day at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Central United Methodist Church will observe Passion Sunday at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. with the Chancel Choir and orchestra performing. Good Friday meditations on the Stations of the Cross will be noon to 7 p.m., followed by a Lord's Supper and Tenebrae service.

Church of the Good Shepherd, Episcopal, will have Palm Sunday Eucharist at 8:15 and 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. A Tenebrae service will be Tuesday at 7 p.m. and a Maundy Thursday foot-washing service with stripping of the altar at 7 p.m. A Good Friday service will be at noon.

Athens First Baptist Church will have a Maundy Thursday communion service at 7 p.m. A Good Friday service noon to 12:30 p.m. , followed by a sack lunch.

Ninth Street United Methodist Church's Chancel Choir will present a cantata on Palm Sunday at 10:45 a.m.

The Sanctuary Choir of Central Park Baptist Church will present "Jesus, No Other King," Sunday at 6 p.m.

Athens First United Methodist Church will have a Maundy Thursday service of Holy Communion and Tenebrae at 7 p.m.

First Christian Church, Decatur, will have a Maundy Thursday Communion service at 6 p.m.

Parkview Baptist Church will have a Good Friday service at 7 p.m.

Annunciation of the Lord Catholic Church will have a bilingual Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper at 7 p.m., followed by adoration until midnight. Good Friday Stations of the Cross will be at 3 p.m. and a Celebration of the Lord's Passion with communion at 7 p.m. A celebration of the Lord's Passion in Spanish will be at 8:30 p.m. The Easter Vigil Mass will be Saturday at 8 p.m.

Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church will present the drama "Lord Is It I?" Sunday at 7 p.m. The drama will also be on Holy Thursday at 7 p.m. Good Friday Stations of the Cross will be 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. The film "The Passion of Christ" will be shown at 7 p.m. in the worship center.

Athens First Christian Church will have a Maundy Thursday service at 7 p.m.

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