The Liturgical Year
Originally begun as a time of preparation for the coming of Christ, Advent is a time of expectancy and anticipation in which we "prepare the way of the Lord." In the ninth century, Advent was established as being the four Sundays before Christmas. Our worship services throughout advent focus on the four themes of Advent: hope, peace, joy, and love.
Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Christ, has drawn many pagan and Christian events into one joyous holy day. Santa Claus came from the festival of St. Nicholas on December sixth. The Journey of the Magi, though it occurred years after the birth of Christ, has become part of the Christmas celebration. Did you know that Christmas became so full of different customs and joyful revelry that the Puritans banned it?
The early Christians met and broke bread together to signify their union, fellowship, and love. We have one Christmas Eve service to celebrate the birth of Jesus. We sing carols, listen to scripture, pray, and celebrate communion.
The Christmas season concludes with Epiphany, a word meaning "manifestation" or "showing forth." The festival commemorates the visit of the Wise ones to the Christ child. The Magi understood that this Jesus was "God with us"; it is the mystery and the miracle of Epiphany that these wise ones, these scholars and intellectuals, knew enough to fall down and worship Jesus. Epiphany Sunday is observed on the Sunday closest to Epiphany, January 6. Sundays after Epiphany point to other "manifestations of the Word made flesh" in the Baptism of Jesus and his early ministry. The final Sunday after Epiphany recounts the Transfiguration of Christ.
Ash Wednesday begins the Season of Lent. Lent is part of the Easter cycle beginning forty days before Easter (excluding Sundays). Lent is a time to rest, to meditate, to pray, and to gather spiritual strength.
Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, the celebration of Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Worship on this day enacts this event and foretells the coming week in the life of Christ.
Maundy Thursday and Good Friday
"Maundy" is derived from the Latin word meaning "mandate" and recalls Jesus' new mandate from his teaching in the upper room: "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another." On Good Friday, the most solemn date on the Christian calendar, we remember the Crucifixion of Christ.
Our services of Easter worship begin with the community service at 7:00 a.m. This worship services rotates between the Wilson's Mills' churches each year. At 11:00 a.m., we join to sing Easter hymns, hear the preached word, celebrate communion and remember that "He is risen! The Lord is risen indeed!"
Fifty days after Easter, Pentecost celebrates the birth of the church and empowering of the Holy Spirit. A service of worship celebrates Pullen's welcome for all and the recognition that all are gifted through God's Spirit. We celebrate baptism on Pentecost Sunday followed by a luncheon in the fellowship hall to welcome new members.