The Triduum—the Great Three Days—begins tonight with the Maundy Thursday liturgy. In the setting of the Last Supper, Jesus gives his disciples a way to remember him and his ministry—the Eucharist, and he models servant leadership by washing their feet.
On Friday, we walk the way of the cross. There is no celebration of the Eucharist on Good Friday, and the reserved sacrament of bread and wine were consumed Thursday night, and the perpetual light that burns nearby is extinguished until Easter.
Saturday morning, when the Altar Guild gathers to prepare the sanctuary for Easter, we have a simple service, a sort of burial office for Jesus.
The sun sets at 7:56 PM Saturday evening, and at 8:00 Henry Welch, our Easter Vigil pyrotechnician, will light the Paschal Fire. We will light our candles and gather around the Paschal Candle, and listen and respond to stories from our sacred writings. We will also be welcoming Mika Stanard into the household of God through baptism. The Rev. Dr. Robert Macauley will preach. And we will celebrate the first Eucharist of Easter.
On Easter Day, we pull out all the stops, and then add a brass quintet for the 9:00 and 11:00 services.
One of my mentors argued that the Great Three Days (from Maundy Thursday to Easter) is one continuous service, with dramatic pauses. Whether you experience it in whole or in part, each service has been prepared with love and care, and each is powerful in its own way.
The joyous character of the 50 days of Easter is reflected in our liturgical celebrations by the appointed readings, the hymns and seasonal service music, and the prayers we offer.
Holding our community and our world in my heart this Holy Week,