EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

March 23, 2013

Christians begin Holy Week with prayers, drama and music to prepare for Easter

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“Any bit of color and ornamentation is removed and the altar is bare and stark. The idea is that where entering with Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane as he faces the cross the next morning,” she said.

Good Friday is a solemn day for Christians as they remember Jesus . Services range from walk of the cross in Andover and Salem, N.H., dramatic and musical presentation.

“All I Have Done for You,” portraying the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus will be performed at noon in Judson Hall at St. Augustine, 128 Ames St. Donations accepted.

At St. Paul Episcopal, this is the third year that Chase Bradbury leads the nails of the cross service against pride, betrayal, envy, indecision, cruelty and hatred at noon and 7 p.m.

Members get a nail, a piece of paper and a pen to write down sins or wrongdoings from the past year.They are encouraged to place the note on a six-foot cross in the sanctuary. After each prayer, a candle is extinguished, follow by singing a stanza from “Where You there when they Crucified My Lord,” and a meditation.

“The service is very powerful,” Chase Bradbury said. “It’s important to hear the gospel message of forgiveness and understand it best when we physically engage with God’s mercy and forgiveness. he message is that Jesus died on the cross to take our sins with him,” she said.

At South Church, 41 Central St., Andover, the church’s choir will be joined by West Parish and Christ Church in performing John Stainer’s “Crucifixion” music and worship service featuring the choirs of South Church at 7 p.m. Guest soloists are James Giessler and Mathew Wight with organist, Barbara Bruns.

Some parishes including All Saints in Haverhill and St. Augustine in Andover, celebrates blessing of the Easter food, a Polish tradition. Families can either bring finished baked goods or the ingredients which will be used to prepare the Easter meal.

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