While Christmas may get more hype and attention these days, Holy Week was celebrated for centuries before the Feast of the Nativity. The ritual celebration of Our Lord’s triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, the celebration of the first Eucharist and the “Novum Maundatum”, the “New Mandate” to “Love others as you have loved me” at the foot washing, from the hearing of the passion Jesus and recitation of the collect at Good Friday pleading with God to set the cross and passion of His son between His judgment and our souls and then the next night saying the ancient prayers and lessons of the Passover of the Lord in darkness and the proclamation of Easter sung amidst blinding light, bells and hymnody for The Great Vigil of Easter, provides for us a way to experience God in a way like no other. Instead of a one night celebration followed by the two week season of Christmas, we participate in a three day celebration and a forty day feast commemorating the triumph over evil and death that Jesus accomplished for us.
I promise you that if you attend these services dedicated to praising and thanking God for our salvation accomplished for us by Jesus, that you will never see Easter in the same way again. We are a resurrection people, and the power of those mighty acts will be made as palpable as possible during this celebration. You will have the benefit of experiencing these liturgies as conducted by our readers, acolytes and music ministry. The altar guild will be tasked with complicated tasks which they will perform with skill and dignity. The readers will be assembled in force to read the foundational lessons of our faith. The music ministry will offer their gifts of song and instrumentality to offer praise and thanksgiving to God. Acolytes will assist me in performing the rituals which are necessary to our understanding of our faith.
I urge you in the strongest possible terms to attend these liturgies not just for your support of the various ministries that are needed to make these services happen, but for your sake and for the sake of God, and His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.
I’ll see you in church. Details to follow.