Moravian Lent
Lent begins with *Ash Wednesday and ends with the conclusion of  the Great Sabbath (Holy Saturday -  Easter Eve) - a span of forty days on the church calendar, excluding Sundays. It is symbolic of the forty days Christ spent fasting and praying in the desert while enduring the temptations of the devil. (Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke)

Lent is generally observed as a time for spiritual renewal; a time for Christians to reflect, repent, and pray as a way of preparing their hearts for Easter and the Resurrection of Christ. Although not dictated or required by the Moravian Church, many of the faithful voluntarily commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence during the season of Lent.

The three traditional practices to be taken up with renewed vigor during Lent are prayer (justice towards God), fasting (justice towards self), and almsgiving (justice towards neighbor).

Counting Sundays, there are actually 46 days in the Lenten penance (season) - Sundays are excluded because each and every Sunday is considered a celebration of the Resurrection of Christ.

Moravian Holy Week
* Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of the faithful as a celebration and reminder of human mortality, and as a sign of mourning and repentance to God. The ashes used are typically gathered from the burning of the palms from the previous year's Palm Sunday.



Holy Days
holy week
Communion
Holy Week, the week before Easter, often referred to as "Passion Week" by Moravians, is a full week of profound reflection, reverence and prayer.  The word passion comes from the noun translation of the verb pascho appearing in the gospels, where Jesus showed “himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3). There, the word passion means “to suffer,” particularly in reference to Christ’s sufferings and death.

Moravians gather every evening of Holy Week to read out loud from a harmony of the gospels, beginning with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and ending with the burial. There are no sermons during Holy Week - just readings and congregational singing. A single hymn verse is sung in response to each passage read from the Bible - but, sometimes - there is silence.

Palm Sunday: The sixth Sunday in Lent is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. Greeted by cheering crowds waving palm branches and proclaiming Him the Messianic King, Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey as prophesized in Zechariah 9:9. (Matthew 21:1-11)

Holy Monday: (The Cleansing of the Temple) Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” He said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’” (Matthew 21:12-13)

Holy Tuesday, Jesus preached and taught in Jerusalem from early morning until late evening, mostly in parables. Jesus knew His physical life on earth was almost over, and He was leaving final words for us as He taught the parable of the talents. He prophesied about His Second Coming and the Last Judgment. He talked about the Greatest Commandment and the signs of the times. He gave warnings and he gave woes.
 
The cleansing of the Temple on Holy Monday caused the Pharisees to question His right to do so. One of the Pharisees, a lawyer, questioned Jesus in an attempt to trap Him - Jesus rebuked them for their envy and deceit. (Matthew 21:28-25:46)

Holy Wednesday: Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand Him over. (Matthew 26:14-16)

Maundy Thursday
Maundy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter, is recognized and celebrated as the day Jesus and His disciples dined together for the last time before His death - the day of "the Lord's Last Supper" as described in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 26:17-30).

The term Maundy from the Latin word mandatum, English word mandate, from a verb that means "to give," "to entrust," or "to order." The term is usually translated in English as "commandment."

Jesus said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Good Friday: The arrest, trial, crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus Christ all took place on Good Friday. Jesus was taken into Roman courts, before Pontius Pilate and Herod Antipas, who sent Him back to the Jewish court. Roman soldiers took Him to Calvary (Golgotha - the place of the skull), where He was crucified. (Matthew 26:47 - Matthew 27:26)  A day filled with such treachery, cruelty, brutality and suffering that it would be documented and remembered forevermore.

The name Good Friday is believed by Bible scholars to have originally come from the Germanic phrase “Gute Freitag”, which at the time, translated into English as “good” or “holy” Friday, but why would such a sad and sorrowful day still be called Good Friday?  Because its sorrow is a godly sorrow. Its sadness is likened to the sadness of the Corinthians who wept over the letter from their dear teacher, Paul.  Hearing of their distress, Paul said, "My joy was greater than ever." Why? Because such godly sorrow "brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret" (2 Cor. 7:10)

Great Sabbath (Holy Saturday): Jesus' body lay in the tomb guarded by Roman soldiers throughout the day on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, an enforced day of rest. When the Sabbath ended at 6 p.m., Christ's body was ceremonially treated for burial with spices purchased by Nicodemus: "He brought about seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes. Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus' body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth." (John 19: 39-40, NLT) (timeline source)

Nicodemus, like Joseph of Arimathea, was a member of the Sanhedrin, the court which had condemned Jesus Christ to death. For a time, both men had lived as secret followers of Jesus, afraid to make a public profession of faith because of their prominent positions in the Jewish community.

Both were sorrowful and deeply affected by Christ's death. Casting fears aside, they boldly came out of hiding, risking their reputations and their lives because they now realized Jesus was, indeed, the long-awaited Messiah. Together they cared for Jesus' body and prepared it for burial.

Joseph of Arimathea, according to all four Gospels, was the man who donated his own prepared tomb for the burial of Jesus after Jesus' crucifixion. (Matthew 27:57-60)

Easter sunday
Easter is a celebration of the risen Christ; the culmination of the Passion of Christ; a celebration of the triumph of Christ over death, sin, and the power of evil through His sacrificial death; the oldest Christian holy day and the most important day of the church year. All the Christian movable feasts and the entire liturgical year of worship are arranged around Easter. Easter is followed by a 50-day Easter Season that stretches from Easter through Ascension to Pentecost.

There is evidence that early Christians celebrated the resurrection of Christ every Sunday, with observances such as Scripture readings, psalms, and the Eucharist. In 325 A.D., the First Council of Nicaea established an official date to celebrate the resurrection of Christ (which is detailed below).

Since 1732, the Moravian Easter Sunrise Service has been a powerful tradition passed down from generation to generation, knitting together old and young, the living and the dead, individual congregations, and Moravians with the surrounding community.

Easter morning is an especially wondrous time. In the chilly pre-dawn morning, rain or shine, the faithful gather in front of the Church to await the glorious news.

The pastor proclaims, “The Lord is risen!” The congregation responds, “The Lord is risen indeed!”  After a brief service, the congregation reverently proceeds to the cemetery (God's Acre) while the band plays Easter chorales antiphonally. The liturgy is completed at the cemetery with the congregation greeting the rising sun in their God’s Acre, with hymns, horns and a resounding, “The Lord has risen… The Lord has risen indeed!”

Eastertide
Eastertide is the period of fifty (50) days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday.  Each Sunday during this season of Eastertide is treated as a Sunday of Easter. They are named accordingly: Second Sunday of Easter, Third Sunday of Easter, Fourth Sunday of Easter and so forth until the Seventh Sunday which is named "Pentecost Sunday."

Ascension
Ascension
Ascension Day is the 40th day of Easter. It occurs 39 days after Easter Sunday and always falls on a Thursday. It is a Christian holy day that commemorates Jesus Christ's ascension into heaven. (Acts 1:9-12) The Ascension of Jesus is professed in both the Nicene Creed and in the Apostles' Creed.

Ascension Day is the crowning event of the ministry of our Lord.  Jesus went to the Mount of Olives with His disciples and ascended to heaven before their eyes.  The ascension of Christ is filled with theological significance. Christ’s ascension means that in heaven there is one who, knowing firsthand the experience of suffering and temptation, prays for us and perfects our prayers. His ascension is a witness and guarantee of our own bodily resurrection, as well as an invitation for us to set our hearts and minds “on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1-2) to rule over all things in heaven and throughout the universe (Eph. 1:10, 20-23). Finally, the ascension of Jesus serves as the prelude to Pentecost, when the power of the risen Christ came upon all believers through the Holy Spirit.

Pentecost
Pentecost Sunday is the fiftieth day or the seventh Sunday after Easter.  The biblical account of Pentecost is given in the second chapter of the Book of Acts. Present were about one hundred twenty followers of Christ (Acts 1:15), including His core group of twelve Disciples (Acts 1:13, 26), His mother Mary and various other women disciples (Acts 1:14). Their reception of Baptism in the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room is recounted in Acts 2:1–6:[4]

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.”

While those on whom the Spirit had descended were speaking in many languages, the Apostle Peter stood up with the eleven and proclaimed to the crowd that this event was the fulfillment of the prophecy ("I will pour out my spirit").[Joel 2:28-29] In Acts 2:17, it reads: "'And in the last days,' God says, 'I will pour out my spirit upon every sort of flesh, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy and your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams." He also mentions (2:15) that it was the third hour of the day (about 9:00 AM). Acts 2:41 then reports: "Then they that gladly received His word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls."

Peter stated that this event was the beginning of a continual outpouring that would be available to all believers from that point on, Jews and Gentiles alike.  The day of Pentecost was truly the birth of the Christian Church by the Holy Spirit.


dates for your new hope moravian calendar
Holy Days Calendar
All Christian Holy Days covered on this page revolve around Easter. Easter does not fall on the same day each year. The Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325) set the date of Easter as the Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon, which is the full moon that falls on or after the vernal (northern spring) equinox. The Paschal Full Moon is determined from historical tables and has no correlation to actual lunar events. As astronomers were able to approximate the dates of all the full moons in future years, the Western Christian Church used these calculations to establish a table of Ecclesiastical Full Moon dates. These dates would determine the Holy Days on the Ecclesiastical calendar. The Paschal Full Moon can vary from the date of the actual full moon, with dates ranging from March 21 to April 18. As a result, Easter dates can range from March 22 through April 25 in Western Christianity. An equinox occurs twice a year (spring and fall). It is when the Earth's equator passes the center of the Sun. The name "equinox" is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), because at the time of the equinox, night and day are of equal length.
2017 calendar
2018 calendar
2019 calendar
March 1 Ash Wednesday
April 9 Palm Sunday
April 13 Maundy Thursday
April 14 Good Friday
April 16 Easter Sunday
May 25 Ascension Day (Thurs)
June 4 Pentecost Sunday
February 14 Ash Wednesday
March 25 Palm Sunday
March 29 Maundy Thursday
April 30 Good Friday
April 1 Easter Sunday
May 10 Ascension Day (Thurs)
May 20 Pentecost Sunday
March 6 Ash Wednesday
April 14 Palm Sunday
April 18 Maundy Thursday
April 19 Good Friday
April 21 Easter Sunday
May 30 Ascension Day (Thurs)
June 9 Pentecost Sunday

Go To: Top of This Page - Previous Page