Let’s Walk Together in Holy Week

Today is first of three of the holiest days in the Church year, traditionally known as the Triduum (Latin for “three days”). This evening, we’ll begin to walk with Jesus toward the promised life of Easter. It is not an easy road, and best traveled with friends. I invite us to walk together.

On Maundy Thursday, we’ll recall Jesus giving a new commandment (Maundy, for mandate) to those who would follow him: love one another. All the events of the evening revolve around this rule of love that guides us. We’ll share a simple meal in fellowship, wash the feet of one another, gather for Holy Communion, and lovingly undress and wash the altar as our faces turn with Jesus toward the Cross.

On Good Friday, Jesus embraces the broad extent of human cruelty and suffering on the Cross, in solidarity with us in all the afflictions of the human experience. This year, our liturgies are adapted to correct centuries of anti-Judaism inherent in many Good Friday prayers, readings, and hymnody. You can read more about these adaptations here.

And on Holy Saturday, lingering silence and darkness are dispelled by Easter light. At the Easter Vigil, we’ll gather in a darkened church to light the new fire. The old stories will be told. And then, through the waters of baptism, our songs of Alleluia will announce that Christ is risen. We will celebrate life’s victory over death, light over darkness, and share together the first Eucharist of Easter. And then – the celebration will continue with a party in Parish Hall!

Easter joy will continue on Sunday, with Festival Eucharists at all our regularly scheduled times. Joyful receptions will follow each liturgy in Parish Hall.

All of this – love and sacrifice, darkness and light, death and then life – all of this is meant to be faced and embraced together.

With you,

The Rev. R. Scott Painter, Rector
Email: ScottP@stmaa.org