From the Rector
Your Life Will Not Be The Same
We’re coming up on the holiest of weeks, when faithful Christians around the world will focus their minds and hearts on the remembrance of Jesus’ fateful final week of mortal life. And just as Jesus’ life seemed to build to those climactic events, our lives take their fullest and truest meaning when experienced through the prism of Christ’s Passion. In Holy Week, we remember the lengths to which God went to overcome our enslavement to sin and death, and the cost that was paid to redeem us from powers against which we had no chance. And even as we recall in Holy Week the nature of this Lord we worship, we also deepen our understanding of how our lives are meant to be lived in response to his sacrificial love. Holy Week is a mixture of awe at what God has done for us, and inspiration to love in that same humble and selfless way.I make this promise every year, and I will make it again to you now: if you will walk the whole way of Holy Week, and especially if you will participate in the culminating acts of the Paschal Triduum – Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Great Vigil of Easter – I promise that your life will not be the same. Your faith will be enriched in ways that you won’t fully comprehend, and it will be a big part of how Jesus Christ is saving you. Because like I said in my Christmas Eve sermon, love is like gravity for the soul, and the love we experience in Christ’s Passion is so vast, so limitless, that it is pulling our souls closer and closer to God all the time, which is how we are healed and strengthened and renewed.
I pray that you will accept this invitation to Holy Week. Rather than jumping straight to Easter Day, I hope you will step upon each of the holy stones between here and there. Wave palms with us this Sunday and listen to St. Mark’s Passion. Chant the lament psalms with us at Tenebrae on Wednesday. Share in the footwashing on Thursday and watch in silence as the Altar is stripped bare. Keep vigil for an hour overnight in the presence of Christ. Kneel before a large wooden cross on Friday and hear St. John’s Passion poignantly sung. And then come in the darkness of Saturday night to help us kindle a new fire and journey from the grief of the cross to the hope of the empty tomb.
Assist us mercifully with your help, O Lord God of our salvation, that we may enter with joy upon the contemplation of those mighty acts, whereby you have given us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Did you know…?
- Transfiguration has a tradition on Maundy Thursday around the offering. Instead of money, we invite you to offer bottles of wine, which are used for the Break the Fast Feast after the Easter Vigil, and loaves of bread, which are donated to Austin Street Center. Sign up here to bring a bottle and a loaf or two!
- Inspired by the collection taken by the Apostle Paul for “the saints in Jerusalem,” since 1922 the Episcopal Church has directed that the offering collected on Good Friday go to support the Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East. Funds are used to promote health care, educational programs, and peace initiatives. Last year we collected nearly $3,000!
- On Maundy Thursday, Open Door Fellowship will once again sponsor a soup supper from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Donations go to support “Youth First” at the Resource Center, which serves LGBT youth in Dallas.
- From 9:00 p.m. on Maundy Thursday to Noon on Good Friday, volunteers keep watch with the Blessed Sacrament at an Altar of Repose. You may sign up for a 30-minute slot, or simply show up to share in the quiet prayer and occasional liturgies. This is a holy way to remember his time in the Garden of Gethsemane, and answer his invitation to “stay awake with me one hour” (Matt 26:40). You can sign-up in the Tower Cloister or online.
- You may bring your own flowers to help us “flower the cross” on Easter morning! A large bucket of carnations will be ready, but it can be lovely to enhance the cross with flowers from your own home.
- Palm Sunday is the deadline to make donations for the Easter flowers and music, if you want to have your thanksgiving or memorial dedication included in the bulletin. Contact Meghan Mazur with questions.
Peace be with you all,