West Valley churches set to celebrate the Easter season
As Easter approaches, several churches in the West Valley area are preparing for special activities and worship services to commemorate the holy holiday.
Sonrise Baptist Church, located at 3550 South 4400 West, will be hosting many activities for both its congregation and the community at large to enjoy during the upcoming Easter holiday.
Along with an egg hunt on the Saturday before Easter, there will be three special sermons during the Easter weekend that, for Pastor Troy Bassham, celebrate one of his favorite times of the year.
“It is a beautiful time of year, and it is wonderful to be able to celebrate the hope that Jesus Christ offers mankind,” he said. “We try to proclaim that all day long, but it is great to have this time to focus on that mission and that message.”
The church will begin its Easter celebration with a Good Friday service on March 29 at 7 p.m.
On March 30, the grounds outside the church will be used for a popular Easter egg hunt. All children in sixth grade or younger are invited to attend the hunt, which starts at 11 a.m.
On Easter morning, a sunrise service will be held, weather permitting, on the grounds outside the church. After that service, which lasts for about an hour, there will be a continental breakfast served to the congregation and guests. Then, at 11 a.m., the pastor will lead the traditional Easter worship service inside the church building.
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, located at 4615 South 3200 West, will also have special services and celebrations, according to its own tradition.
According to the church’s vicar, the Reverend Dr. Matt Seddon, Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday and ending on Easter Sunday, is one of the most special and sacred annual remembrances in his faith.
“For us, the traditions that we perform during this week are a way to remember the cross and to celebrate Christ and His great self-offering,” Seddon said.
At 11 a.m. on March 24, the church will offer a traditional Palm Sunday service.
On March 27 at 7 p.m. and on March 29 at noon, members of the church will perform a special performance called “Women of the Passion” which will dramatically depict the Stations of the Cross, each told from the point of view of a woman referenced in Bible passages.
“This is a really good way to offer a bit of a different viewpoint about these events and to celebrate what Jesus has done,” Seddon said. “In many ways, Jesus was quite the feminist of his time.”
Beginning on March 28, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church will offer three worship services known as the triduum. These three services begin with Maundy Thursday, a bilingual service beginning at 7 p.m. that remembers the institution of the last supper. On March 29, a Good Friday service will be offered.
Before the final Easter Sunday service begins on March 31 at 11 a.m., the church will also hold the Great Vigil of Easter, beginning at 8 p.m. on March 30.
“This will be the beginning of our joyful celebrations remembering the resurrection,” Seddon said. “We will have readings, two baptisms and even a nice party afterwards.”
Granger Christian Church, located at 4100 South 3232 West, will have a variety of Easter services as well. The Palm Sunday service will start the week off on March 24 at 11 a.m. There will be a Maundy Thursday service held at 7 p.m. on March 28, followed by a Good Friday service at noon the next day.
The church will also hold a vigil Saturday night through to its Easter service at 11 a.m. on March 31.
“As a Presbyterian Christian church, we celebrate the joy that is Christ’s life, death and resurrection during this time of the year,” Pastor Vinnetta Golphin-Wilkes said. “Our faith is made more real in God’s love, and we celebrate it during this season as well as how we live our lives on a daily basis.”