March 25, 2010, Feast of the Annunciation
Yes, I know you are expected reminders about this coming Sunday, but I couldn't resist bringing to our collective attention (so as to keep all that is about to unfold over the next week in perspective) that today is the feast day of the Annunciation of our Lord -- Mary's "yes" to Gabriel's message. Mary,
God's human agent in the mystery of the incarnation. "Let it be to me according to your word."
A few reminders for the coming week:
This Sunday is Palm Sunday with services at 8 and 10. Both will include the blessing and distribution of palms and the Passion narrative.
The liturgy for Palm Sunday carries us into Holy Week. Services begin with the reenactment of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, with the crowds waving palm branches and greeting him as the messianic king. Then the mood shifts abruptly, with the reading of the passion story, and we begin the journey through the events that culminate in Jesus' crucifixion and death. For the 10:00 service we will all gather in the Parish Hall for the Liturgy of the Palms then process into the church.
Wednesday of Holy Week, March 31st, 7 pm: The service of Tenebrae (Latin for "shadows"), traditionally a series of readings and psalms, has been reworked as a simple, evocative chancel drama with soliloquies interspersed with musical offerings as the seven candles are gradually extinguished. Thanks go to Tom Reinfuss for bringing this contribution to Saint Andrew's.
The Paschal Triduum (the Three Sacred Days) is really one liturgy in three parts beginning with Maundy Thursday, continuing through Good Friday, and culminating with the Great Vigil of Easter.
April 1, Maundy Thursday, 7 pm: Foot washing, the Institution of the Lord's Supper, the stripping of the altar, and the the opportunity to meditate on the reserved sacrament in our transept "chapel."
This liturgy invites us into the intimacy of Jesus' last meal with his disciples, his loving care of them in the washing of their feet, and his self-offering in the bread and wine. The word maundy comes from the Latin mandatum, "command," and it refers to the commandment that Jesus gave to his disciples that we love one another. After the sermon, all are invited (though none are required) to come forward for foot-washing and then to wash the feet of the one coming after them -- a transforming symbol of service and sacramental action. We continue with the eucharist, followed by the stripping of the altar and chancel. The service ends in silent darkness.
April 2, Good Friday. From noon to two the church will be open for Meditations at the Cross. This is primarily silent meditation, interspersed with brief readings and psalms. At 1:30 we will close with the traditional Stations of the Cross. you may come and go as your schedule allows.
At 7 pm: the Liturgy of the Crucifixion of our Lord, a service of readings, hymns, psalms, the Solemn Collects, and spoken anthems at the cross. We will conclude with Communion, using the bread and wine that was consecrated at the Maundy Thursday service.
Two thousand years ago, Christ's life, death, and resurrection exploded into history. This week invites us into God's saving acts with the hope that each year we will experience God's saving power in new ways. Join us for Holy Week. Your Easter will never be the same!
See you in church!