First United Presbyterian Church

The Altar Cross

FUPC doesn’t always keep a cross on the altar, but there is a tradition of using the cross on the altar to mark the progress of Lent.

The church history book reports that a deepening of Lenten traditions was led by Pastor Stephen Carl, who served FUPC in the 1990s. The tradition of Maundy Thursday and Tenebrae (Good Friday) services began under his leadership, and the custom of displaying the cross in an altar tablescape was inspired by his artistic vision.

This is also when the tradition of Wednesday Lenten studies began. In 2024, we have two Lenten studies. One, conducted in the Calvin building and on Zoom at noon on Wednesdays, is reading and discussing Meeting Jesus at the Table by Cynthia M. Campbell and Christine Coy Fohr.

The other, meeting at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, is examining the characters and events at the crucifixion in a Bible study.

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