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Can Protestants Celebrate Maundy Thursday?
SATURDAY, JULY 18, 2009
Posted by: Carolina Presbyterian Church (PCA) | more..
7,500+ views | 170+ clicks
I have been asked to explain why we observe Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. First, those are good questions since those dates are associated with the liturgical calendar used by Roman churches as well as Lutheran, Methodist and others. I do not observe the liturgical calendar. "But" you may protest, "you celebrate Easter, Christmas, and Mundy Thursday & Good Friday!" On face value those are good objections but they assume that those observances belong to the liturgical calendar when in fact they are part of the Gospel narrative. The Gospel of John packs the upper room teaching of Jesus into about a fourth of the book. That means that in a three year ministry and a thirty-three year life, the last hours take a fourth to maybe a third of John's account. Now, we can limit our exploration of those passages to a Sunday sermon once every now and again or we can take a week to involve our church in a slow and contemplative consideration of the Last Supper and Jesus' last moments on the cross.
Admitedly, extra services can be abused. They can move from promoting contemplation and evoking a sense of reverence and awe to something mystical and superspiritual and we must always be on guard for such misuse. But should we also err in leveling the bulk of the teaching of those last hours by neglecting them? Easter & Christmas are not in the Bible but the birth/incarnation and death and resurrection of Christ are. We are a rational and an experiential people. The sacraments, for example, are a presentation of the Gospel to the senses whereas preaching appeals to our mind. Both require the work of the Holy Spirit to be of any value. So, the church takes advantage of seasons when people are particularly attentive to hear and experience the Gospel.

Michael Cannon Michael Cannon

Pastor Michael Cannon is a native of Spartanburg, SC. Married to Bevalie in 1983, Michael has served as a Chaplain on both active duty and in the Army Reserves...

Category:  Easter Holidays

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