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Holy Week: Churches plan services for Holy Week, Easter

Most area churches are planning special events and services for Holy Week and Easter. The week starts March 28 with Palm Sunday, also called Passion Sunday, and marks the last week of Lent directly before Easter.

Sharon Baptist Church in Ironton will have a cross walk at noon on Good Friday. The church will begin at its building and walk along Fifth Street to Woodland Cemetery.

“We take it to the cemetery because that’s where we have the sunrise service on Sunday morning,” Pastor Steve Harvey said. “It’s just to rethink and look at Christ carrying the cross.”

The church will also have an Easter cantata during its Sunday evening service and a sunrise service that morning.

“It’s the glorious resurrection of the Lord,” Harvey said of Easter. “New life, new start, new heart. It’s all of those things.”

The Ironton Ministerial Association will host a Good Friday service at noon at St. Paul Lutheran Church.

“We’ll read the passion story in John and try to experience the love that Jesus extended on the cross for us,” said Rev. David Ritchie of St. Paul Lutheran Church. “That will be the jist of what we’re doing.”

Several area pastors will participate in the service. Rev. Wayne Young of Ironton First United Methodist Church will preach.

“Christ came for everyone,” Ritchie said. “So we repeat Christ’s promise of that every time we celebrate Holy Communion. Christ gave the cup for everyone.”

The City Mission Church will have a Good Friday service at 7 p.m. and an Easter sunrise service at 7 a.m. Musical group His Own will perform during the Easter service.

Sugar Creek Missionary Baptist Church will an Easter sunrise service beginning at 6 a.m. Rick Massie will be the special speaker and singer. During the regular service at 7 p.m. the choir will be presenting a special program.

Royersville Missionary Baptist Church will have a sunrise Easter service starting at 6 a.m.

First Presbyterian Church in Ironton will celebrate Maundy Thursday with a service 7 p.m. in the chapel. The service will include communion.

New Jerusalem Christian Center will be hosting a Good Friday service starting at 7 p.m. at its location on the corner of 8th and Quincy Streets. The service will be about the last words of Christ from the cross.

“It’s going to be a pretty big service,” Rev. Bishop Kenneth Lisath said. He added that he hopes people will leave with “an in depth idea of what it was like the day Jesus was crucified.”

Service church elders and members will take part in the service as well as the church’s drama and music teams.

“It reminds us of the cross that Jesus bore and the things that he said for our benefit,” Lisath said. “He said ‘forgive them.’ He forgave. And then the thing that happened to him we should recognize and certainly be grateful.”

Resurrection Hope Ironton will host an Easter morning worship service at 10:30 a.m. at its location at 4th and Pine Streets.

Pleasant Valley Free Will Baptist church will have a Good Friday service at 7 p.m. and a sunrise Easter service starting at 6:30 a.m. The church’s regular services will follow at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Several Chesapeake are churches will have a joint Holy Wednesday service at 7 p.m. at

Getaway United Methodist Church, with Pastor Bill Flannery speaking. They will also join for a Maundy Thursday Communion service 7 p.m. at Chesapeake United Methodist Church. Pastor Harold Hamlin will be the speaker.

The churches will have a Cross Walk at 6 p.m. Good Friday. The walk will begin at Chesapeake Village Hall and end at the Triangle. Chesapeake Church of the Nazarene will host a Good Friday Service following the Cross Walk.

“The crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus is the whole center of the Christian faith, and this is an observation of the resurrection and death and the celebration on Easter,” said Rev. Darryl Fourman of Chesapeake UMC.

The churches will have a Holy Saturday service at 7 p.m. at Defender United Methodist Church. Pastor Paul Merritt will speak.

South Point Church of the Nazarene will present its Easter drama, “Our God Reigns,” April 2 and 3 at 7 p.m. The program will also be presented on Easter morning at 10:45 a.m.

Sunrise Church of the Nazarene will have a resurrection Sunday community breakfast and celebration beginning at 7 a.m. with a sunrise service. An Easter egg hunt will follow the 9:30 a.m. regular service.

Dr. Kevin Yingling, M.D., will speak about the medical aspects of the crucifixion. The talk will take place 6 p.m. March 28 at Sybene Missionary Baptist Church. Yingling is the chair of internal medicine at Marshall University.

Chesapeake Southern Baptist Church will have a Maundy Thursday service at its new location at 43 Township Road 1010. The service will be 7 p.m. There will also be a Good Friday service at 7 p.m. and an Easter celebration at 9:30 a.m.

South Point United Methodist Church will have its passion service at 6 p.m. Palm Sunday. The church will also have a foot washing service at 7 p.m. Wednesday. On Maundy Thursday at 7 p.m the church will host a Christian Seder meal. The meal mimics the Jewish Seder meal that is celebrated at Passover.

“This is a way for us to examine our Hebrew roots,” Rev. Terry Washburn said, adding that instead of a Passover lamb, Christians believe that Jesus died as a sacrifice for sin.

The church will celebrate Good Friday with a Tenebrae, or darkness, service at 7 p.m.. The service starts with the lights on and candles burning. As the story of the crucifixion is read, the lights will be turned off more and more until the end, when the church is completely dark.

“It’s a way of walking through the last night of his life on earth,” Washburn said.