Holy Week and Easter at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church

Palm/Passion Sunday — March 25

Worship at both the 8:30 and 11:00 liturgies begins with the palm procession recalling Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and then turns to contemplation upon Jesus’ passion and death.  This year, the Passion story is from Mark’s Gospel.   This service is one of sharp contrasts.   A joyful procession gives way to a story that is filled with the dynamics of human sorrow and suffering.  Jesus empties himself of power and becomes vulnerable to those who put him to death.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in Holy Week—March 26 – 28

Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer services will take place in the Chapel on these days during Holy Week.  Please join in the rhythm of Daily Prayer.  Come to either or both at 10:00 a.m. or 5:00 p.m.

The Three Days

Lent ends on Maundy Thursday, and our journey into the great Three Days begins. These days are also known as the “Triduum,” a Latin word meaning “three days”.  The Triduum officially begins on the evening of Maundy Thursday and lasts through Easter Sunday evening.  Though it spans three days, it is really one event.

Maundy Thursday — March 29 at 11:15 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

“Love one another as I have loved you.”  This love is demonstrated in Jesus’ gesture of washing the disciples’ feet and is sealed in his journey to the Cross as the suffering servant who is revealed for us in the mystery of his abiding presence in the Eucharist.   Tonight, after the stripping of the altar, we leave in silence.  There is no final blessing because the service extends into the next day …

Good Friday — March 30, 12:00 and 7:00 p.m.

Today we celebrate the mystery of salvation with meditation and reflection.

The Stations of the Cross are prayed at noon.

The evening liturgy includes the Passion story from John’s Gospel, Bidding Prayers, the Adoration of the Cross, and Prayer around the Cross.  There is no final blessing because the service extends into the next day.

The Great Vigil of Easter — March 31, 6:30 p.m.

The Three Days culminate in tonight’s liturgy.  This is the night of Christ’s Passover from death to life.  Tonight, we celebrate birth, light, re-created earth, rejuvenated heavens, and reborn people.  We light the Paschal Candle from the new fire.  We tell the great stories of the Bible.  Some are baptized, and some reaffirm their baptismal promises.  We share the thanksgiving meal of the Risen Christ, and are anointed as a reminder of our baptism.  This service is the “night of nights.”  It is like no other!

The Resurrection of Our Lord — April 1, 8:30 and 11:00 a.m.

Easter Sunday is the conclusion of the Three Days.  At the previous night’s Vigil, we celebrated the mystery of Christ’s resurrection in the darkness of night and with those to be baptized.  On Easter Sunday morning, we gather in the bright morning of new life to celebrate the mystery again.  It is a day for feasting and resting.

Lent 2018

One of the more dramatic moments at the Easter Vigil is when the Assembly joins those gathered around the baptismal pool to renounce the “forces that defy God, the powers of this world that rebel against God, the ways of sin that draw you from God.” With great vigor we say, “We renounce them!”

In some senses, the season of Lent anticipates that very moment, when we join our voices with those about to be baptized in renouncing evil and then publicly stating our trust in God.  In Lent, we pray God to renew our hearts as we prepare for Easter.

Lent originated as a time to prepare adults for baptism. It is no coincidence that this is an intense time of preparation for our WAY candidates. In the ancient Catechumenate, part of that preparation involved prayer and examination on the ways in which those who sought baptism resisted God.  In later years, Lent became a time for those who had left the church or compromised their allegiance to Christ to be reconciled with the community.  The sign of this return was the sign of the cross first received in baptism that these folks acknowledged had turned to ashes.

Today, Lent is a time for all of us to journey the path of reconciliation and be formed fresh in the spirit of Christ.

This year, we will walk with our WAY candidates as we normally do, with special rites and blessings during the Sundays in Lent. In addition, we will have a series of small groups meeting around the very same scripture passages that will be used in the WAY. We take this journey together to learn again to follow Jesus.

Worship Opportunities in Lent

+ Ash Wednesday

February 14, 2018

The season of Lent begins with a solemn call to fasting and repentance as we begin our journey to Easter.  We have three worship opportunities that day:

  • 11:15 am in the Sanctuary (followed by soup lunch)
  • 6:30 pm in the Tree of Life Room (especially for children and families)
  • 7:30 pm in the Sanctuary

Mid-Week Lenten Worship

During this season of Lent, as we journey toward Holy Week and the Resurrection, we invite you to join us for mid-week worship.

Mid-day Worship at 11:15
Feb 21, Feb 28, Mar 7, Mar 14, Mar 21

We will gather in the Chapel for Word, hymns, and Holy Communion, followed by a soup lunch.

Evening Worship at 6:50
Feb 28, Mar 7, Mar 14, Mar 21 (no service on Feb 21)

We will gather in the Sanctuary for Holden Prayer Around the Cross, a service of word, prayer, light, and songs from the Taizé Community.

You’re also welcome to attend Bread for the Journey’s weekly dinner (at 6:00 on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14; at 6:15 Feb. 28-Mar. 21). It will be served in Fellowship Hall before worship.




Advent Memorial Worship

A time to remember our losses

Sunday, December 17, 2017

12:30         Soup lunch and conversation with Rosemary Raynaud, Licensed Counselor and Pastoral Therapist
2:00          Worship in the chapel

Christmas is a wonderful season in many ways, but it can also be a particularly painful time for those who are grieving. Perhaps you are mourning the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, the absence of family, or another sadness in your life. All are welcome for an afternoon of personal reflection, learning, comfort, and worship. Together we will find light in the darkness. Contact Pastor Van Kley if you have questions.

Sunday Worship in November

Christians never seem to worship alone.  Sunday morning makes it abundantly clear that we worship with others.  Yet, even as we utter prayer in the silence of our home, we join a conversation that takes place throughout earth and heaven. Each week, in the words of the preface we pray: “And so with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we praise your name …”

On All Saints Sunday, November 5, 2017, we remember that we worship with quite a body – the saints beside us and those who have gone before us. Be sure to bring pictures of your sainted loved ones. Tables will be available for you to share their memory with the entire congregation as you place their picture and light a candle.

The Gospel readings on November 12 and 19 are the wonderful parables of the wise and foolish bridesmaids (Matthew 25:1-13) and the Talents (Matthew 25:14-10).  We are reminded that we are surrounded by the faithful of every time and place as we celebrate Christ’s coming now and look to Christ’s coming again.

On Christ the King Sunday, November 26, 2017, we gather to celebrate the reign of Christ and his victory over death.  How different is the reign of Christ from the reigns of most mortal monarchs!   We catch the vision of a humble ruler when we look over the shoulders of those with whom we share common prayer and the common feast of victory.


The Great Three Days

Along with many other Christian traditions, Lutherans have rediscovered the richness of the Three Days and its central place in the Christian Liturgical Year. All other celebrations and, in fact, Sunday itself, flow from this central event.

Together, the liturgies of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil form a single unified celebration of Christ’s Passover from death to life. Come to worship each day so that you may dwell deeper into the Mystery.

Maundy Thursday

April 13, 2017 – 11:15 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Tonight we cross over from Lent and into the Three Days. We hear the story of Passover, Paul’s proclamation of the first Eucharist, and John’s account of the Last Supper, where the account of Jesus sharing bread and cup is missing, but something else is there: the washing of feet. You may, if you wish, take part in the foot washing. Tonight, Jesus commands us to love others as God loves us. We leave in silence and return on Good Friday.

Individual Confession and Forgiveness
On Maundy Thursday, April 13, Pastor Hansen and Pastor Van Kley will be present before each service for individual confession. This is an opportunity to confess sins that burden you and receive the assurance of God’s forgiveness through spoken word and laying on of hands. This may also be a time for shared conversation, prayer and a time to hear comforting words from scripture. The times for individual confession are 10:15 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Feel free to come during these times. The pastors will be in the chancel area and in the chapel.

Good Friday

April 14, 2017 – Noon and 7:00 p.m.
While there is nothing “good” in what humanity did to Jesus, there is everything good about what Jesus did. This is a day for reflection and prayer at home and at church. We gather in silence. We leave in silence.

The Stations of the Cross at noon – As on a pilgrimage, the ministers process to each station in the worship space, guided by music and prayer. Each station is a meditation on the Passion of Christ.

The Adoration of the Cross at 7pm – The evening service finds us marveling at the mystery of the Cross. We hear the Passion story from John’s Gospel, pray for the needs of the church and world, reverence the cross, and meditate on the “solemn reproaches.” Tonight, we behold the great paradox – an instrument of death becomes an instrument of healing and redemption.

The Great Vigil of Easter

April 15, 2017 – 6:30 p.m.
This is the most important liturgy of the year. Tonight, we are immersed in the mystery of death and resurrection. We get to experience, all over again, the reality that Resurrection is now, bringing new life to those who will be baptized and the entire assembly as we renew our baptismal promises. We do not leave worship on this night without recovering the “alleluia!” Our hearts are filled with new praise and gratitude at the victory of God’s love.

Easter Sunday

April 16, 2017 – 8:30 and 11:00 a.m.
The celebration of the Three Days concludes with a most joyous festival Eucharist. Today is a day for feasting and relaxing. We have been renewed! Yet, Easter has not come to an end. We pass from the Three Days into the great Fifty Days of Easter.


Holy Week at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church



April 10, 11, and 12, 2017

A simple service of Holy Communion in the chapel at noon
This is an opportunity to participate in in the days between Passion/Palm Sunday and the Great Three Days in a quiet space and in a liturgy that should last no longer than 30 minutes. All are welcome!

The Great Three Days

April 13, 2017: MAUNDY THURSDAY

Individual Confession and Forgiveness* at 10: 15 am and 6:00 pm
Holy Communion at 11:15 am and 7:00 pm

*Individual Confession and Forgiveness
On Maundy Thursday, April 13, Pastor Hansen and Pastor Van Kley will be present before each service for individual confession. This is an opportunity confess sins that burden you and receive the assurance of God’s forgiveness through spoken word and laying on of hands. This may also be a time for shared conversation, prayer and a time to hear comforting words from scripture. The times for individual confession are 10:15 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Feel free to come during these times. The pastors will be in the chancel area and in the chapel.

April 14, 2017:  GOOD FRIDAY

Stations of the Cross at noon
Adoration of the Cross at 7:00 pm


Light, Word, Baptism, Eucharist at 6:30 pm

YUEN-BOBBY BAPTISM horizontal crop



Festive Eucharist at 8:30 and 11:00 am
Easter Breakfast served 8:30-11:00 am



A Journey Toward Easter and Baptism

BaptismThe journey of Lent is a journey toward baptism. That is made abundantly clear in the Gospel lessons this year. Taken from the Gospel of John, these stories were used to instruct catechumens in the earliest church. Still, they are used in our WAY gatherings during Lent to prepare adults for baptism and renewal of baptism at the Easter Vigil. These stories from John are descriptions of life-giving encounters with Jesus: Nicodemus, the Woman at the Well, the Healing of the Blind Man, and the Raising of Lazarus.

You can expect your pastors and vicar to focus on these texts and on some aspect of Baptism throughout Lent. The font will be front and center. The liturgy will be trimmed down to reflect the fast that precedes the Easter feast. Such a “trimming down” draws our attention to the primary symbols of bath, word and meal.

We will accompany our WAY candidates through various rites during Lent. The Rite of Enrollment occurs on the First Sunday as those preparing for baptism endorse their desire to be baptized with their signature. In addition, all of our WAY candidates will be presented with the gift of the Creed and worship book on the third and fourth Sundays in Lent.

Ash Wednesday

The Lenten journey begins on Ash Wednesday, a solemn call to fast as we begin our journey to the baptismal waters at Easter. The liturgy includes confession of sin and the imposition of ashes. With the cross of ashes on our brow, we long for the spiritual renewal that flows from the Easter feast to come. This year Ash Wednesday falls on March 1st. We will have three worship opportunities:

  • 11:15 am and 7:30 pm: Liturgies are held in the sanctuary.
  • 6:30 pm: A shorter service in the Tree of Life room, intended for families with children.

All three services include imposition of ashes.

More Worship Opportunities in Lent

We have so many excellent opportunities to worship and learn together this season. As we simplify other aspects of our life and seek spiritual depth, we can center around a practice of prayer, either alone or together.

In addition to the services offered on Ash Wednesday, we will also be having Lent Midweek services every Wednesday during Lent:

  • March 8, 15, 22, 29, and April 5. Please mark your calendar for service at 11:15 and soup lunch at 12.

These midweek services will be a chance for quiet reflection, singing the simple music of Taizé, and praying with the Psalms.

We are also expanding our adult education during Bread for the Journey in the season of Lent. There will be an adult education class at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday evenings in the Fireside Room, and we will be praying with the Psalms in a new way. It will be a time to touch our hearts and spirits rather than living in our minds.

Please come join us, and enjoy a holy Lent.



PRLC Pilgrims

Moving Forward Together

Many of us wrestle with how to best live as both Christians and citizens while partisan politics divide our country. At PRLC, we take great care in how we approach public advocacy on potentially divisive issues. Some may wish to keep political opinions private, while some may feel compelled by the Holy Spirit to speak and act publicly. We respect the convictions of every member of our community, even if we disagree.

Recently, a large group of PRLC members participated in the Womxn’s March on Seattle and found tremendous hope in the practice of walking together toward a common goal. Continuing in this vein, a new group is forming: PRLC Pilgrims.

2017-02-01 Holding CandlesAs individuals on a long journey, we may tire. As a community on a pilgrimage, we support each other and draw from our strong faith tradition to move forward in the face of oppression. Together, we march toward the light. Our first need is to gather before God and find rest for our souls. Drawing on the rich emotional landscape of the Psalms, Pastor Hansen and Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher are planning a special service to care for heavy hearts and find rebirth for the days ahead.

Service of Lament and Thanksgiving

Thursday, February 9, 2017, 7pm

If you’d like to attend, please contact Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher.


Worship in January

baptism-of-our-lordThe Baptism of our Lord is celebrated this year on January 8. This day becomes an occasion to celebrate our baptism into Christ. Just so, we will renew our baptismal covenant and take an official “next step” into our discernment process. While only two Gospels tell the story of Jesus’ birth, each one says something about Jesus’ baptism. It is a great epiphany or manifestation of God’s life among us. At the river God declares Jesus to be God’s chosen and beloved one and there the Spirit anoints him for ministry.

Beginning January 15 we enter into a phase of “ordinary time.” In this season after Epiphany, we will hear from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount something of what it means to live as those who bear the light of Christ. The theme of Epiphany light is not lost in this time. We will greet the Gospel by singing the biblical refrain, “The people who walked in darkness, have seen a great light” and the Song of Simeon will function as a kind of sending song – “My own eyes have seen the salvation … a light to reveal you to the nations.”


Worship in Advent


PEACEABLE KINGDOM, (c) 1994 by John August Swanson

There’s a great old story about a preacher who ran through the streets of a city shouting, “We must put God in our lives.  We must put God in our lives.”  Having heard this, a wise old person of prayer approached the preacher in the city plaza and said, “You are wrong, sir.  God is already in our lives.  Our task is to recognize it.”

I think this is a pretty good way to describe the gift of Advent.  In this season we are invited to look for the Holy One who is already present.  Best of all, with Advent, we get to look for the light of God in the dark!

Our ancestors in faith were on to something when they established this four-week period of yearning and longing for the light.  In ancient times, people would literally put the brakes on their work and usual activities in winter when little light filled the day.  Since the wheels on the wagons weren’t being used, they would take a wheel, festoon it with greens and torches, and suspend it in the air as a reminder that the darkness would not prevail.   It became a little sun to replace the missing sunlight and way of wooing back the sun of the earth.   Christians were wise to adapt this practice as a way to wait upon and welcome the “new sun” in Jesus Christ.

So, we pray by the light of our common Advent wreath at church and our Advent wreaths at home, waiting and watching for the light to gradually come full circle.  Yes, we trust the light that will come.  And, yes, the light is already here.  While God’s saving future will one day fill all of heaven and earth, God invites us to see where God’s future light is cast into the present.

This year, the lessons for the first reading during the Sundays in Advent, come from the great visionary Isaiah, offering up beautiful pictures of God’s promised future reign:  swords beat into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks, a peaceable kingdom where wolf and lamb coexist, waters breaking forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert, and the sign of a child who shall be called Immanuel.

Where is this light cast in the present?   Where, in the midst of a world filled with war, do you find peace?  Where, in the midst of great need and want, do you find community and wholeness?  Where do you discover the light of Christ?  Where do we discover the shimmering light of God among us?

These readings from Isaiah will be highlighted in the sermons.  In addition, we begin our worship each week in Advent surrounded by semi-darkness.  When the flame reaches the Advent candles on the wreath, the lights go up.  The signs and symbols of the season shine with the promise of Christ’s coming again, Christ’s coming among us once, and Christs’ abiding presence with us now.

Come, live in the light!