April 17, 2014

Holy Week, and Easter Services

²  Good Friday, April 18th . Church open all day for prayer.
Noon to 2
PM: Meditations on the Seven Last Words. Come and go as you are able.
PM: The Stations of the Cross.
²  5 PM: Stations of the Cross for Children
PM:  Good Friday liturgy with solemn collects
         and communion from the reserved sacrament
²  Holy Saturday, April 19th : A day for solemn reflection and preparation
PM: The Great Vigil of Easter with the kindling of the new fire, vigil readings, reaffirmation of baptismal vows, and the First Eucharist of Easter
²  Easter Sunday, April 20th : The Day of Resurrection
ONE service only at 10
AM: Festival Eucharist with hymns, choir, and organ
We hope you will be with us for worship, celebration, and fellowship!

Coming to the Easter Vigil? Following the vigil readings, one of which will be enacted by the Stone Church Chancel Players, the turning point of the liturgy comes at the moment of the Easter acclamation, which is accompanied by much jubilant and raucous bell-ringing. So please bring your bells so that you can join in the excitement!

The Triduum has begun, the three holy days that enfold us now – from the foot-washing and Institution of the Last Supper, through the solemnity of Good Friday, until the breaking-in of the Easter acclamation at the Vigil that “He is risen!” We are invited to think of this time as one single service in the midst of which we will live and move and pray and weep and sing and have our being until the dismissal at the close of the Easter Vigil. And then, we will be charged to live fully, in the world, as Easter people – people of the resurrection.

The Good Friday Offering for the Church in the Holy Lands:  It is the tradition of the church to give special attention and prayer to the church in the lands where Jesus walked, a place torn by struggles, in which the Episcopal Church is a strong and active presence, not just for Palestinian Christians, but for people of all faiths. Envelopes are available at church.

Cherry blossoms and Easter greetings
from John McGowan
(in DC and back soon)
The needs of our Food Pantry do not stop just because it’s Easter. Please keep in mind that your food contribution money can go farther if it is provided as a check; the Food Pantry buyers will be able to use it to purchase food at significantly discounted rates (compared to your buying the same items at the store). That said, there are certain non-food necessities that are in high demand and which cannot be bought with Food Stamps. The pantry is establishing a new system with a request schedule:
Holy Week: Laundry detergent
Easter Week: Dish detergent
Week of April 27: Shelf-stable Milk or Dry Milk
Week of May 4:  Paper Towels
Just imagine: If everyone in the parish brought in just ONE assigned item each, what a difference it would make to those in need. Let’s talk this up! A part of your Easter offering, bring a bottle of dish detergent! (Copies of the list are now in the Parish Hall. Keep it with your grocery list.)
Food for thought as we look ahead to Easter Day and the power of the Resurrection from the 4th century Archbishop of Constantinople, Gregory of Nazianzus …

Today is the day of salvation for the world … Christ is risen from the dead; arise with him. Christ returns to himself; you also must return to him.  Christ has come forth from the tomb; free yourselves from the fetters of evil. The gates of hell are open and the power of death is destroyed. The old Adam is superseded, the new perfected. In Christ a new creation is coming to birth: Renew yourselves.”
Easter and baptism go together. Along with being renewed ourselves, we will have the joy of a triple baptism this Easter Sunday – Gina and Tommy Deery, and Gina and Dan’s son DJ. It will be our pleasure and responsibility to be with them as we witness their vows and to pledge our support for them in their life in Christ. Each of them will be symbolically drowned in the waters of baptism from which they will rise to newness of life to be sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked as Christ’s own for ever. Another 4th century Assyrian writer (Narsai), speaking of the ones being baptized, reminds us that “sin and death are put off and cast away at baptism, after the manner of those garments which our Lord departing left in the tomb.” Peg Cade, Carol Tubman, and David Manley are to be their sponsors and godparents, making this an especially welcome celebration because not only the baptism, but also the ongoing active formation of Gina, Tommy, and DJ’s life in Christ will be in our midst. By it, we will all be touched and changed. Happy Easter!
Blessings in the Holy time,  
See you in church,