Community Voices

Neighbors in Religion: Passion Week a time to remember lessons Jesus taught

Maundy Thursday is a day of solemn remembrance for Christians around the world and we gather in houses of worship to commemorate the Last Supper — when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and shared bread and wine with them for the last time before his crucifixion.

While this is known a Passion Week, it was on this day that the Passion of Christ actually began when one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, betrayed Jesus by pointing him out to those who would later crucify him.

Yet, in spite of knowing that one of his own would betray him, Jesus left this commandment with his disciples — that we love one another as he loved us.

On this day, think of that commandment and let each of us search ourselves. I believe that if we truly loved one another as Jesus taught, there would be no need for the kind of violence we are faced with each day.

If we truly loved as Jesus taught, there would be no need for the senseless murdering of our neighbors, especially our children.

If we loved as Jesus taught, we would understand how to embrace different cultures and different people, and we would let the Lord take care of those things we don’t understand.

I realize that to some, loving others as we wish to be loved is a tall order. But as one human being to thousands of others who will read this article, I am here to let you know that it can be done.

Try to be more loving — the Lord will help you achieve it.

Ukrainian Easter services

You are invited to Easter services at The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church, 39 NW 57th Ct.

The services begin at 7 p.m. Thursday with the Matins Reading of the 12 Passion Gospels.

At 6 p.m. on Holy Friday Exposition (laying down of the shroud) and veneration of the shroud. At 8 a.m. on Easter Sunday, the church will present the Resurrection Mass and Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom with the Choir and the anointing of Myrrh by the Rev. Andrij Romankiv.

Following the service there will be the blessing of the traditional Ukrainian Easter baskets filled with baked goodies.

Church of God Tabernacle

The annual Good Friday worship service will be held 8 p.m. Friday at The Church of God Tabernacle, 1351 NW 67th St. in Liberty City.

Then, at 10 a.m. Sunday, you are invited to the annual Easter pageant presented by the Bible classes of the church. The pageant has been presented to the community for nearly 70 years, and has always been a wonderful way of commemoration Jesus’ death and celebrating his resurrection as seen through the eyes of children and youth of the church.

This year, as in years past, the teachers have worked for months to get the children ready. Missionary E. Betty Richardson has always led her team of teachers and musicians in always trying to outdo the previous presentation. They have never let us down.

This is a free program and if you go, you will see the Passion of Jesus enacted by children as young as 3, in songs and recitations. Special music taught by Sister Ashley Barnes will be presented by the Bible class students and the Youth With Voices Ensemble.

Bishop Walter H. Richardson, the church pastor and overseer, invites everyone to come and be blessed.

Passion Play in Wauchula, Florida

There is still room on the bus leaving Friday for the Passion Play in Wauchula, Florida. The bus will leave at 1:15 p.m. from 6600 NW 27th Ave., and will return at 2:30 a.m. on the next day (April 3).

Tickets are $60 for adults and $50 for children ages 3-17. If you want to go, call Andrea at 786-319-3997 or Marie at 305-725-5206 for tickets and more information.

Passover at Bet Shira Congregation

With Passover beginning Friday night, Cantor Shiree Kidron of Bet Shira Congregation has shared this information about the Jewish tradition:

“We recite the prayer of ‘Tfilat Tal‘ during the ‘Musaf Amidah’ on the first day of Passover. The Hebrew word for dew is ‘tal.’ This ancient prayer has become a mystical and spiritual part of our Passover liturgy. The poem includes six verses describing nature and our hope for prosperity,” Kidron explains.

“May dew fall upon the blessed land, Fill us with heaven’s finest blessings. May a light come out of the darkness to draw Israel to you as a root finds water from dew.

“In biblical times,” Kidron continued, “and for many centuries thereafter, rain and dew were regarded as gifts from God. God rewarded the Jewish people with ample rain and dew when they observed the laws and commandments of God. ... Accordingly, dew is a symbol of revival and hope for the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the land of Israel.”

This year’s Passover service at Bet Shira will be accompanied by an a cappella quartet, who will sing a selected number of psalms from Hallel, the prayer of Tal and special musical selections from the liturgy of the Three Festivals. The temple is at 7500 SW 120th St.

Traditional Passover Seder

Temple Beth Tov Ahavat Shalom has a few seats left for the traditional Passover Seder to begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Rabbi Manuel Armon will officiate. Cantor Irving Resnick and the temple choir will also participate.

The cost is $45 per adult and $80 per two adults in advance and $25 per child ages 5-9. The cost at the door will be slightly higher — $50 per adult and $90 per adult couple.

Call Gloria at 305-387-0622 or Benno at 786-223-7757 for tickets and more information.

Martin Luther King Jr. remembered

It’s hard to believe, but Saturday marks the 47 anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In keeping with that sad anniversary, the 12th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Candlelight Memorial Service and Gospel Concert will be from 6:01 to 8 p.m. at Mount Calvary Baptist Church, 1140 NW MLK Blvd. (62nd Street) in Liberty City.

Sponsored by the Martin Luther King Economic Development corporation, the event is free and open to the public. However tickets are available in advance at the Martin Luther King Business Center, 6114 NW Seventh Ave. in Liberty City.

The event will begin with a unity march and candlelight prayer. The gospel concert will feature four-time Grammy Award winner Yolanda Adams.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Religion Notes, c/o Neighbors, 2000 NW 150th Ave., Suite 1105, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028, fax it to 954-538-7018 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.