Holy Week & Easter
In this time of physical distancing, it’s important to know that all of our important Holy Days are still being observed, even though we can’t all be together in one building. We invite you to learn more about Holy Week and Easter, to share these celebrations with your family as you are able, and to join us in online worship as we recall the stages of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. It is a solemn passage through loneliness, betrayal, injustice, and suffering. It’s a movement from life to death to life again.
Stations of the Cross
Youth Minister Haleigh Taylor created a podcast of the Stations of the Cross. You can listen to that here.
Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem and subsequent trial and crucifixion. We will post our online worship service here at 5 pm on Saturday, April 4. It will include the Passion narrative according to Matthew.
On Wednesday afternoon, blessed palms were made available outside the red doors at the entrance to St. Martin’s along with instructions for creating palm crosses.
According to doctors we have consulted, there is little concern for the COVID-19 virus being spread by the palms or the manner of distribution we have chosen. However, we have become concerned that our message and our practice should not encourage anyone to disregard stay-at-home guidelines. So, while the palms will remain available through Palm Sunday, we ask that you only go to retrieve them if it is safe for you to do so, perhaps on the way to or from some essential location. Be sure to observe guidelines for going outdoors and, if others are present, observe physical distance guidelines. As an alternative, if you have branches from a plant in your own yard that you can use, we encourage you to do that.
The Episcopal Church defines Maundy Thursday as:
Part of the Triduum, or three holy days before Easter. It comes from the Latin mandatum novum, “new commandment,” from John 13:34. The ceremony of washing feet was also referred to as “the Maundy.” Maundy Thursday celebrations also commemorate the institution of the eucharist by Jesus “on the night he was betrayed.”
In our church, we usually celebrate the Holy Eucharist, have a foot washing ceremony, and invite people to hold vigil overnight in our chapel. As we are unable to congregate together, we offer some alternatives.
Watch our online service on Maundy Thursday, which will be posted here at 7 pm on April 9. Our postulant Paula Jefferson will deliver the Sermon.
Wash the feet of your loved ones. Though we do not encourage you to go outside at this time, we DO encourage you to share the experience of the foot washing ceremony with your family. If you have children, this is a great way for them to understand this most humbling act which Jesus performed for his disciples on the night of the Last Supper.
You can read the Bible passage from John here.
If you’re alone on this night, perhaps you would like to watch an uplifting video from Trinity Episcopal Church in New Haven, CT. It was posted 8 years ago, but it is a wonderful example of how we as Episcopalians bring our love and our faith to the community.
All Night Vigil at the Altar of Repose
“He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour?” Mark 14:37
Traditionally, we hold an all night vigil at the Altar of Repose. We decorate our small chapel with flowers, and we invite members to come and sit with Jesus for an hour or so.
This is an opportunity for you. Perhaps you can walk around your neighborhood and gather flowers. Take them home and create your own altar. Or if you have a garden and it is nice out, perhaps go outside, light a candle, and pray with Jesus for an hour.
Here is Jesus’ prayer on the night before he died.
“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us,[a] so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24 Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
25 “Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:20-26
Good Friday commemorates Jesus’ crucifixion and death. It is a solemn service, and the Passion narrative is again related to us, this time from John.
We invite you to join us online starting at 7 pm for this worship service.
Good Friday is the final day that we will collect donations for our Lenten Outreach Project. We are so pleased to announce that at the time of this writing, we’ve collected enough money to buy 36 pairs of shoes that grow! Help us make that even more: find out about The Shoe That Grows & donate online here.
Good Friday Family Service
This year, we invite families to join us on a Zoom call. You can use your phone, tablet, or computer to connect. We’ll have a short worship service to pray together as we walk with Jesus. The call begins at 5:30 pm on Friday, April 10. Please download the bulletin so you and your family can read along, and for instructions on joining the Zoom call. See you then!
Holy Saturday – The Easter Vigil
We invite you to watch The Great Vigil from Washington National Cathedral in 2017. It is a beautiful example of this solemn service, which begins by candle light. It celebrates the 40 hour vigil that Jesus’ followers held after his death and burial on Good Friday, and before his resurrection on Easter Sunday.
This day we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Please join us for online worship on this most Holy Day, which we will post by 8:30 am on Easter morning.
We pray that you and your family are able to celebrate this day together.