All Saints Messenger March 21, 2013

posted Mar 24, 2013, 2:37 PM by John Woodward

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

With Easter being in March this year, we experience this week the dynamic tension in our faith that we have been discussing in our Monday evening classes.  We are in the midst of Holy Week, that blessed and Holy time where we journey from Jerusalem to the Cross with our Lord and Savior.  We walk beside Him, knowing full well that we are guilty of trivializing Him in someway so often in our lives, yet we long for the sounds of Alleluia, Alleluia Christ is Risen at the Vigil or on Easter morn because we know that Hope has returned.  The hope found in the Risen Christ: our Lord and Savior.

Yet, this week due to Easter coming early and our Liturgical calendar we also celebrate "The Annunciation," the day set aside by the Church to remember and celebrate the day the Holy Spirit came down and Mary became aware that she was with child; the One who saves us and the world. This tension during Holy Week calls us to look at our lives and the lives of the church in a way that reminds us of our diversity and how we are called to hold many things in tension at the same time.  It is one of the gifts we bring to the lives and each other.  May this Holy Week be for you a time of great tension and Hope, Peace, & Love!

An Episcopal Dictionary describes Holy Week, "From early times Christians have observed the week before Easter as a time of special devotion. As the pilgrim Egeria recorded in the late fourth century, Jerusalem contained many sacred places that were sites for devotion and liturgy. Numerous pilgrims to the holy city followed the path of Jesus in his last days. They formed processions, worshiped where Christ suffered and died, and venerated relics. From this beginning evolved the rites we observe today on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. These services provide a liturgical experience of the last days of Jesus' earthly life, as well as the time and events leading up to his resurrection. The BCP provides special liturgies for each of these days. The eucharistic lectionary also provides proper readings for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in Holy Week. In many dioceses, the diocesan clergy will make a reaffirmation of ordination vows in the context of a eucharist during Holy Week, usually before Maundy Thursday. The three holy days, or Triduum, of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday are at the heart of the Holy Week observance. In many Episcopal parishes, the liturgical color for Holy Week from Palm Sunday through Maundy Thursday is red. Holy Week ends at sundown on the Saturday before Easter, or with the celebration of the Easter Vigil.  

At All Saints we pray that you will find this season to be one of reconciliation and renewal celebrated by Christ's Resurrection at Easter.