I ask each of you to make a special effort to attend the services of Holy Week. These are the central days of Christian devotion in which we enter into the events of our faith. For us Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday (at Church of the Holy Spirit) and Good Friday.
In the 4th century a European woman, Egeria, made a Christian pilgrimage to Palestine. There she described the liturgical life of Christians, especially in Jerusalem. Rituals and customs at Holy Week (or The Great Week) which traced the steps of Jesus in and around the city were already established. The movements and accompanying texts of those ancient ritual processions and services are the deep roots of Christian liturgy today. Here’s a passage from Egeria on Palm Sunday in worship in Jerusalem. (The Anastasis is the Church of the Resurrection in the center of Jerusalem):
As the eleventh hour draws near, that particular passage from Scripture is read in which the children bearing palms and branches came forth to meet the Lord, saying: ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ The bishop and all the people rise immediately, and then everyone walks down from the top of the Mount of Olives, with the people preceding the bishop and responding continually with ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’ to the hymns and antiphons. All the children who are present here, including those who are not yet able to walk because they are too young and therefore are carried on their parents’ shoulders; all of them bear branches, some carrying palms, others, olive branches. And the bishop is led in the same manner as the Lord once was led. From the top of the mountain as far as the city, and from there through the entire city as far as the Anastasis, everyone accompanies the bishop … the whole way on foot, and this includes distinguished ladies and men of consequence, reciting the responses all the while; and they move very slowly so that the people will not tire. By the time they arrive at the Anastasis, it is already evening. Once they have arrived there, even though it is evening, vespers is celebrated; then a prayer is said at the cross and the people are dismissed.
Our Palm Sunday procession begins the service tomorrow. I’ve always appreciated how Kathryn includes our children in our procession. Children should arrive early tomorrow—between 9 and 9:15—to rehearse their processional song with Kathryn.
Members of choir, please try to be at church by 8:45 am so that we can begin the rehearsal.
Teachers and students will read the Passion according to Matthew. Thank you to Kim Canning for organizing this.
Maundy Thursday service at 7:00 pm at Church of the Holy Spirit in Wayland. If you would like to sing in the choir be there at 6 pm.
Good Friday service at 7:30 at Peace.
Youth and Confirmation students meet with Marisa on Saturday at 3:00 pm. Bring a bag or two of nut-free candy to fill plastic eggs for the Easter egg hunt.
Easter Sunday worship at 9:30 am. The Easter brunch follows the service.Sign up in the narthex for the brunch or just come. Children should bring an Easter basket for the egg hunt.