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Tomorrow is Easter Sunday, also called Resurrection Sunday, a day that Christians have been preparing for through prayer and reflection since Ash Wednesday began the 40-day period of Lent on Feb. 25.
Holy Week, which started with Palm Sunday, concludes for many Christian churches with the Sacred Triduum, a three-day period that includes the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, Jesus' crucifixion on Good Friday, and the vigil of Holy Saturday.
In addition to being a popular day for churches to hold Easter egg hunts, Holy Saturday is a day when many of the faithful gather in church to await Jesus' resurrection. Churches often strip their altars on Holy Saturday to symbolize the mourning time between Jesus' death and his resurrection.
Maundy Thursday is named from the Latin word mandatum, or command, based on Jesus' words in John 13:34: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."
The Maundy Thursday observances commemorate the Last Supper, when Jesus and his disciples participated in the Jewish feast of Passover as described in John, Chapter 13.
After the meal, Jesus washed his disciples' feet in a demonstration of humility and servanthood. A number of Protestant and Catholic churches similarly hold foot-washing rituals as part of their Maundy Thursday services.
After washing his disciples' feet, Jesus gave the apostles bread and wine as a remembrance of him, the act of Communion that has become an integral part of Christianity.
In an effort to raise awareness of those less fortunate during Easter festivities, CedarCreek Church is passing out empty grocery bags to the estimated 15,000 people attending the 16 Easter services at the church's two campuses.
The people are being asked to bring the bags back next weekend full of nonperishable food and toiletries, which will be given to the Cherry Street Mission to help the poor and homeless.
Eastern Orthodox Christians, who use a different method of calculating the date for Easter, will observe Easter, or Pascha, on April 19 this year. Tomorrow is Palm Sunday in Eastern Orthodox churches.
Here is a list of some of the Easter events scheduled for today and tomorrow:
Morning Prayer and Blessing of Easter Foods, 9 a.m. today, Rosary Cathedral, 2535 Collingwood Blvd.
"Swieconka" Blessing of Easter Food Baskets, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m today, St. Adalbert Catholic Church, 3233 Lagrange St.; noon and 2 p.m. at St. Hedwig Catholic Church, 2916 Lagrange St.
Jesus Is Alive, Easter musical drama, 7 p.m. today, Dayspring, 17360 North Dixie Hwy., Bowling Green.
Holy Saturday Worship Service, 6 p.m. today, Zoar Lutheran, 314 East Indiana Ave., Perrysburg.
Noon today until 8 a.m. tomorrow, St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, 5240 Talmadge Rd.
5 p.m. Community of Christ Lutheran Church, 6517 Finzel Rd., Whitehouse.
7 p.m. St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 2272 Collingwood Blvd.
8 p.m. Reformation Lutheran Church, 4543 Douglas Rd.
8:30 p.m. Rosary Cathedral, 2535 Collingwood Blvd.
Calvary Assembly, 5025 Glendale Ave., sixth grade and younger, registration at 10 a.m. and hunt starts at 11 a.m.
Zoar Lutheran Church, 314 East Indiana Ave., Perrysburg, 10 a.m., infants-2nd graders.
Maumee Valley Church, 8715 Garden Rd., Maumee. 10 a.m., sixth grade and younger.
Trinity Nazarene, 4930 Flanders Rd., 11 a.m., Ages 2-10 years old.
Easter Children's Fun Day, 1-4 p.m. today, St. James "The Armory," 3319 Nebraska Ave. Includes Easter Egg Hunt for children ages 3-12 years old with parent.
Easter Egg Drop by Helicopter, 3 p.m. today, Church on Strayer, 3000 Strayer Rd., Maumee. 20,000 plastic eggs dropped for children ages 12 and younger.
Easter Egg Drop by Helicopter, 12:30 p.m. tomorrow, The Church on 41, 1105 County Rd. 41, Fremont.
6:30, 9 and 10:45 a.m. St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 611 Woodville Rd.
6:30 a.m. Ecumenical Sunrise Service, Maumee Bay State Park, Oregon.
6:30 a.m. Church of the Cross, UMC, 1806 Cass Rd.
6:30, 9 and 11 a.m. First United Methodist Church, 200 West Second St., Perrysburg.
8 and 10 a.m. Community of Christ Lutheran Church, 6517 Finzel Rd., Whitehouse.
8 and 10:30 a.m. Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 4155 Pickle Rd., Oregon.
8 and 10:30 a.m. St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 2272 Collingwood Blvd.
9 and 11 a.m. Rosary Cathedral, 2535 Collingwood Blvd.
9:45 a.m. Walbridge Park Shelter House on Broadway. Sponsored by the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church. Service begins with brunch.
10 a.m. Vineyard Church of Toledo, 210 East South Boundary, Perrysburg.
10 a.m. First Congregational Church, 2315 Collingwood Blvd.
10 a.m. All Saints Episcopal Church, 563 Pinewood Ave.
11 a.m., Rosary Cathedral, 2535 Collingwood Blvd., Bishop Leonard Blair presiding.
6 p.m. St. Mark Baptist Church, 1419 North Detroit Ave.
Community Easter Meal
Deacon Bill Keran Easter Dinner, noon-3 p.m. tomorrow, free and open to all, Rosary Cathedral, 2535 Collingwood Blvd.