Holy Week starts tomorrow, on Palm Sunday (we’ll all be gathering our own “palms,” more details below).
During Holy Week, we walk with Jesus toward the cross. As we do so, it’s as if time liturgical “slows down,” like a slow-motion scene at the climactic part of the movie.
For example, there is a different Collect for each day of Holy Week. And of course the three-day lead-up to Easter features Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, which are meant to be one extended three-part liturgy (which is why there is no benediction and sending at the end of the Maundy Thursday or Good Friday services).
With so many of our other activities on hold during “Coronatide,” I invite you to observe Holy Week in a new way this year. Join us for morning and evening prayer, as well as Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday worship. Create space for quietness and reflection, and let us attend to the Pascal Mystery in a new way this year.
Here are the details on how you can participate with us this Holy Week:
Gather your own “palms” for Palm Sunday
We will gather online for worship at 11:15am for worship as usual, but because we can’t be together a wave palm branches in procession as we normally would on Palm Sunday, here’s what we’ll do:
- Go out today and gather any kind of green branch as “palm” to wave during tomorrow’s worship.
- During the Liturgy of the Palms (right at the beginning of the service), while we sing “Hosanna,” wave your “palm” in the air, and we’ll have a “virtual procession.” (Feel free to tell the children to run around the house praising Jesus at this point, too!)
Also, Palm Sunday features an extended, dramatic reading of the passion narrative, and the congregation has a part to play in this, so make sure you download both the liturgy and the passion narrative in preparation for tomorrow’s worship. (You can also download a coloring sheet for your kids to doodle on during worship.)
Join us for daily prayer
Many of you joined us last week for morning, midday, and evening prayer each day (Mon – Sat). During Holy Week, I invite you to join us as often as possible for daily prayer (especially morning and evening prayer).
It’s a way of turning our attention to the Lord at set times during the day, and it’s also an opportunity to be in prayer for others, which feels more and more important to me as this pandemic accelerates.
We pray each day (Mon – Sat) at 8:30am, 12pm, and 5pm. You can find the details on how to join here.
Join us for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday
On Maundy Thursday (April 9) at 7pm, we’ll have an online worship service with spiritual communion, and on Good Friday (April 10) at 7pm, we’ll have a virtual Stations of the Cross service. I invite you to join us for these “high and holy days” for us.
For both gatherings, we’ll use the same link as we use for Sunday worship, and we’ll post the liturgies as time gets closer.
Heading toward a bittersweet Easter
As our Bishop noted recently, we are headed toward a “bittersweet Easter,” celebrating the resurrection of Jesus while continuing to grieve all that we are missing during “Coronatide.”
I pray that we’re all able to stay in touch with reality this Holy Week, both the reality of our fear and anger and grief, as well as the reality of God’s abiding presence with us.
Grace and peace,