FROM THE RECTOR
Dear Beloved St. Margaret’s,
Holy Week and Easter are not completely cancelled, but they will be different this year! For those who might not be accustomed to worship during Holy Week, this is the last week of Lent where we walk with Jesus from his triumphant entry to Jerusalem to the Cross on Golgotha before his resurrection on Easter. Every year, we have several liturgies which beautifully put us front and center to all that happens. These are amongst our most special services, and this year, we are invited to experience them in a new way from the comfort of our homes. In fact, we need these services now more than ever, as they help teach us the never-ending cycle of life where we experience love, lose love, and find that love anew. Holy Week prepares us not only for Easter, but how to cope with the crises of life. Below are several ways that you can participate as individuals and as families during this unique time.
All services will be live-streamed from the Saint Margaret Facebook page and will be uploaded to YouTube immediately after. The Easter service will be pre-recorded and uploaded on Sunday morning. We will send out the bulletins for all these services as well.
Palm Sunday, April 5, 9:00 a.m.
This week, you should receive a mailing from us that includes a couple of palm fronds and a palm cross (we apologize if not everyone gets a palm cross; we ordered these palms long before the pandemic). There are directions on how to make a palm cross with the fronds if you would like to do that.
If you would like to make your own palms out of paper, or if you have any in your yard, we encourage you to use those as well.
The liturgy will start with the Blessing of the Palms, and I will ask you to raise your palms to be blessed at that time.
As is customary, there will not be a sermon at this service, instead I will leave extended silence after we hear the Passion Gospel.
Maundy Thursday, April 9, 7:00 p.m.
Items to gather before the service: a large bowl, a pitcher of warm water, towels
Before the service, set up an altar in your home, a place where you can put items that remind you of God’s presence.
After the sermon, I will invite you to wash the feet of those in your home, as Jesus did his disciples in a stunning act of humility and love. We will sing several hymns to give you enough time to do this.
For those who are by themselves, we invite you to wash your own feet during this time as a sign of love to yourselves.
If you have pets, you can wash them (if they’ll allow you) or you can feed them an extra favorite treat as a sign of Christ’s love to them.
If feet make you uncomfortable, then wash your own hands or the hands of a loved one.
At the Stripping of the Altar, we will remove all the items from the Sanctuary as we typically do to symbolize the abandonment of Jesus at his arrest. We invite you to participate in removing the items on your own home altar as well.
During the Stripping of the Altar, we invite you to turn down the lights of wherever you are and keep them lower than usual for the remainder of the evening.
Stations of the Cross, April 10, 12:00 noon
Items to gather before the service: Stations of the Cross images (14), a favorite cross
We will be emailing you 14 images of the Stations of the Cross for you to print and place around your house or yard if you wish, or you can just watch.
If you have a cross at home, you can take it around to each station with you.
In the livestream, we will show each of the stations and will read them aloud for you.
If you don’t wish to watch the livestream, you can do the service by yourself or with your family by using the bulletin and the stations we email out to you.
Good Friday, April 10, 7:00 p.m.
Items to gather before the service: A wooden cross of any size
We encourage you to keep the lights low during this service.
After the Solemn Collects in the service, I will invite you to bring out a wooden cross to adore as we pray.
Easter Sunday, April 12, 9:00 a.m.
Items to gather before the service: Candle(s), noisemakers, flowers
This service will start with the Easter Vigil liturgy. If you’ve never done this service, it is a beautiful bridge from Good Friday to Easter Sunday.
We encourage you to make the room as dark as you can before the service, and light candles around the room.
After the Renewal of Baptismal Vows, I will invite you to turn the lights on, blow out your candles, and make some noise as we announce the Great Alleluia of Easter.
Decorate your home altar with flowers, crosses, icons, pictures of loved ones, or any other items that remind you of God’s presence. Also, use the Thanksgiving chain that our Youth are encouraging us to make during this time to decorate your home altar.
Our Bishop has encouraged us that whatever day we do get to worship together again as a community, no matter what Sunday of the calendar it is, that it will be an Easter liturgy. So we will have Easter again the next time we all meet!
I hope all of these ways will deepen your experience of Holy Week and Easter this year despite the circumstances, and perhaps will introduce you to something new. If you have any questions, please let me know!
Please call me (706-761-0115) if you need prayers or a word of comfort.