From the Rector
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.
A few years ago I came across something Fr. Roper once wrote about Holy Week, and he perfectly sums up what we’re about this week:
We live in a world that is confused, bored, frustrated, and harassed. In the face of this, Holy Week offers us the opportunity to participate in the greatest realities of life, to visit the mountain top of history, to have a vision of the meaning behind and beyond all human existence. This week the church has no need to apologize for the fact that its services are lengthy, serious, and emotionally demanding. These difficulties are a small price to pay in return for the renewal of our life, to which we are summoned by none other than the Lord of Life himself.
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 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. Luke’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.
And along the way, help us perform all these sacred acts! Because Holy Week is not a series of rites performed for our spiritual edification, but a great movement we create and enact together.
- So, on Maundy Thursday, remember to bring a bottle of wine, which will be used for the Break the Fast Feast after the Easter Vigil, or a few loaves of bread, which are donated to Austin Street Center. You can sign up here.
- Also on Maundy Thursday, come early for worship and attend Open Door Fellowship’s traditional Soup Supper from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Donations at this meal 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.
- On Good Friday, make a special donation to help the Church in the Holy Land. 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.
- Sign up to help provide food for either the Break the Fast Feast that follows the Great Vigil of Easter on Saturday night, or the Easter Day Reception outside as part of the Butterfly Release. These are joyous celebrations befitting this most joyous of days, but they depend on our collective help and generosity!
- 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.
- And it’s not too late to donate toward our Easter flowers, music, and butterflies. Email Meghan Mazur by Monday morning to have your memorial or thanksgiving donation included in the insert in our Easter booklets!
See you this weekend.