By Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley
Ash Wednesday marks the official beginning of the season of Lent. On this day, Christians all over the world receive a mark of ashes on their foreheads as an outward sign of an inward confession. Four year ago, I shared my vision that this congregation participate in the distribution, or imposition of ashes to mark this occasion. Initially there were many questions about what this act means and why the Alfred Street Baptist Church would participate in an observance that many associate with the Roman Catholic Church. READ MORE
The day before Good Friday is known in the church calendar as Maundy Thursday, and is the first of three days known of the Triduum, (trid-yoo-uhm), the three day period when we commemorate the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus and begins on Thursday evening and culminates in Easter Sunday. The word “Maundy” means, “commandment,” and refers to Jesus’ words, “A new commandment I give unto you that you love one another…,” (John 13:34). On Maundy Thursday, Jesus and the disciples celebrated the Passover meal and before the meal, Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. This act of service and humility symbolizes love in action. In our commemoration of Jesus’ love for the disciples, we wash one another’s feet as a demonstration of love in action.
What to Bring: Flip-flops, slides or slip-on shoes.
What to Expect: We ask that you enter the church through the narthex (as you normally do). As you arrive, you will be given a number. Please hold onto it. Once you have entered, please take a seat in the front of the sanctuary. You will be invited by group to participate in the foot washing experience. Please bring minimal items into the sanctuary with you as you will be asked to keep your belongings with you. After your feet are washed, we will bring you back to the sanctuary. This time, please take a seat in the back of the sanctuary for quiet reflection. At the end, as Jesus did, we will share in the ordinance of communion.