Reflection on a Holy Week Service

Your assignment is to write a three- to four-page theological meditation on a church service (but not a Westmont chapel service) during Holy Week (the week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday). Appreciate and/or critique the service of your choice (such as Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Tenebrae, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Vigil, Easter Sunday) at the Christian church of your choice.

My goal is to help you draw connections between the doctrine we've been learning in class, and the Christian practice that goes on in the worshiping Church. The latter embodies the former; the former interprets and guides the latter. Make sure you underline and develop the connections by drawing explicitly on the lectures and relevant readings.

Obviously the easiest connections to make during Holy Week will probably involve the atoning work of Christ (for instance, theories of atonement or the offices of Christ). But these may not be the only ones you find. Also make sure you address the issues raised in the previous week: How a church's symbolism shows the church's self-understanding, whether and how worship fits the Trinitarian nature of Christian faith, and so on.

Please include the printed program of the worship service you attend, so I can follow along. If none is available (or if the program is not descriptive enough), outline it yourself. Don't forget details like the name and denomination of the church, which service you attended, and so on.

If you attend a church service outside your tradition and find the proceedings unfamiliar, don't be shy — ask a fellow worshipper what is going on, or wait until after the service and ask one of the leaders to explain things. In my experience, these people are delighted to help you by sharing the things they love.

Further tips:

Look at:

Look for:

Uh-oh! What if the service is theologically and doctrinally poor?

Please keep your paper 3-4 pages, double-spaced, and follow the directions in my handout for writing papers. Focus on Harvey chapter 6. Remember, I want to see proper style, clear writing, a thorough answer to the question, and explicit citations of course materials.