Journeying Through Holy Week… Together!
While we won’t be sharing Holy Week the way we normally do, we will indeed be sharing it! I hope that some of you who haven’t participated in all these services will take the opportunity to do that this year! Below, you’ll find what you need to be able to be fully present and to fully experience the many riches of Holy Week.
If you haven’t done so already, create a sacred space in your home, a space set apart to remind you of the events of this most holy week. Think of it the same way you think creating a space for your Christmas tree or special Christmas decorations. Begin by thinking about what makes a space sacred for you and then get creative! You can make a home altar or set up a prayer corner or you can simply decide that for this most holy week, a favorite chair or special pillow will be sacred space for you. If you have children, encourage them to make a sacred space in their room.
Send a video! Take a video on your phone, of yourself or your family exclaiming “Christ is Risen!” Email that video to
and Jim will include you in the Easter Vigil service!
While we won’t be offering the Sacrament of Reconciliation in our Service of Healing and Reconciliation this year – it just isn’t possible to create that service virtually – I would like to encourage you to spend some time thinking about the past year, perhaps thinking about what has changed inside of you since the world around us has changed. Try to recall all the hurts you have experienced and the hurts you have caused. This is not for the sake of suffering or feeling guilty, this is for the sake of offering all of those hurts, given and received, to God. Say you are sorry. Ask God to forgive you. Ask God to help you forgive the ones who have hurt you. Ask for the grace to change in ways that are more loving toward yourself and others. While we live in a state of forgiveness – that’s what the cross was about – God wants us to recognize the places where we’ve not been aligned with God so that we can change. Not so that we can feel guilty, but so we can recognize the ways we have hurt ourselves, hurt others, hurt creation… and change our ways into ways of love. Know that you are forgiven, and be at peace.
Spend some time in your sacred space.
Last chance to send in a video!
Today is the last day before the Triduum (literally “three days”) that is the height of the Christian year! Pray one of the Daily Offices (
) from the Book of Common Prayer. Make space for quiet today and ponder what is about to happen in Jesus’ life and in yours. Do what you can to create calm in your home and make sure you can enter into the Triduum with open hearts. Pray
“Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10.
I have also attached the
for you to pray at the end of today, and perhaps to pray at the end of each day. The Examen presumes that God speaks to us through our deepest feelings and yearnings and offers the opportunity to reflect on those things in order to see God more clearly at work in our lives.
Spend some time in your sacred space.
Maundy Thursday – Service at 7pm
Today we begin the great three days! While we won’t be gathered for dinner and readings in the parish hall, won’t be washing each other’s feet in church or processing to the Altar of Repose (you can see last year’s altar here), you can join us at our house for an in-home Maundy Thursday service. Maundy means “mandate.” Maundy Thursday is the night we remember the last supper Jesus had with his friends when he gave them a new mandate.
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’
Here is what you will need to have ready at your house before 7pm…
Your Maundy Thursday Service Leaflet (sent in advance of the service)
A place set apart to worship where you can join the service virtually
A basin with warm water for foot washing
A towel and clean socks
Something lovely to eat – grapes, cheese, hummus, pita, olives, oranges, almonds – a little something that will be evocative of the Mediterranean food we share together as we commemorate Jesus’ last supper with his friends.
An open mind and heart
Good Friday – Services at noon and 7pm
On Good Friday, we sit at the foot of the cross, finding ourselves deeply connected with Jesus and experiencing God’s awe-inspiring and boundless love in ways we never could have imagined. In this contemplative and spare service, we have time for quiet contemplation and personal devotion as we touch the hard wood of the cross, venerating it with our devotion. Good Friday holds within it a depth of experience that opens our hearts in ways nothing else can.
Here is what you will need to have ready at your house before the service begins
Your Good Friday Service Leaflet (sent in advance of the service)
A cross and anything you would like to use to venerate the cross – olive oil infused with rosemary, evergreen needles from your trees, flower petals or simply your devotion
The Great Vigil of Easter – Service at 8pm
The Great Vigil of Easter is the most multi-sensory and thrilling ritual of the entire Christian year! In a festival of darkness and light, fire and water, imagery, singing and story-telling, we conclude our journey that is the mystery of dying and rising with Christ.
The Light of Christ Comes into the World: We gather outside around the blazing New Fire, Christ’s light coming back into the world after the darkness of Good Friday. Following the light of the Paschal Candle, we hear the Exsultet (the most ancient of Easter proclamations) and make our way inside to hear Bible stories that tell of God’s saving power and great love for us. God is at work in the world!
Here is what you will need to have ready at your house before 8pm
Your Easter Vigil Service Leaflet (sent in advance of the service)
Noisemakers and happy voices
While our Holy Week will be different this year, we will journey together! This is a week like no other, in a time like no other. I hope with all my heart that you will take time for your own personal devotions this week and join us for all of the services that walk us through the last three days of Jesus’ earthly life. And when with God’s friends, we have walked alongside Jesus, feeling the love of deep friendship, the heartache of betrayal, the seeming loss of everything that is good, we will come to Easter Resurrection knowing that God is in absolutely everything with us and that love always, always wins. The journey is how we will know it. Sending love and all God’s blessings in this most Holy Week. Faithfully, Karen†