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Pastoral Letter, Holy Week

Dear Good People of Saint David’s,

This congregation is very much alive, though the parking lot is empty and the lights remain off throughout the upstairs. You are making soup for those who might need it. Those who receive it are so very grateful. The Flower Guild plans to carefully prepare bud vases for those who would benefit from a little extra TLC in this season. The Vestry and Men’s Group contact you each week, maybe more, to touch base and see how things are going with you. This week the Lectionary Explorer’s Bible Study met online for a discussion of Easter’s readings. Daily we offer and then post Morning Prayer to the church YouTube channel. Weekly we have Contemplative Prayer, meeting through Zoom. The Saint David’s staff works each week to make sure we are connected through our live streamed Sunday worship gathering. If you are feeling isolated and disconnected, please let me know. I would like to talk with you more about how to make the best of a challenging situation.


We are in Week 3 of our covid19-imposed separation. We are also in Holy Week. Already a week of setting time and space apart from ordinary time, Holy Week offers us many opportunities for focused reflection on God’s lavish love for us and for all of Creation. No doubt this Holy Week will be unlike any Holy Week I have ever observed: no foot washing, no stripping of the altar, no labyrinth or stations of the cross for our children, no bustling, joyful voices and busy hands on Holy Saturday, preparing our Nave for Easter. NO EASTER POTLUCK!! And no trumpet or strings on Easter morning.


And yet, this Holy Week will be very much like every other observance for it. There will be opportunity to walk the Way of the Cross. If you wish, you may seek me out for a conversation and the Rite of Reconciliation of a Penitent. We will have a chance to consider anew the notion of servanthood as we wash our hands in a new way around our Agape Meal on Thursday. We will consider the solemnity of Good Friday together. There will be voices here on Saturday, but there will be far fewer and at different times so that we may observe physical distancing. Finally, Easter will come just like it always does, just like God always shows up if we tune in. Jesus Christ does rise. Even in this strange time, God is raising up things and people and connections.


While the video about creating Holy Week at Home may have helped you understand what is happening this week, I wanted to spell it out once again here.


Holy Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

  • Follow the Daily Lectionary for Holy Week, using the links below.

Holy Week Daily Readings Holy Monday (April 6)Holy Tuesday (April 7)Holy Wednesday (April 8)Maundy Thursday (April 9)Good Friday (April 10)Holy Saturday (April 11)Easter (April 12

Maundy Thursday

  • Prepare an Agape Meal and use the following order of service: Agape Meal order.
  • Go to Saint David’s YouTube channel to listen to the Maundy Thursday homily on John 17, which you will read during the Agape Meal.
  • Watch the “Let us break bread together” video, which will come after the homily.

Good Friday

  • Join us at 12noon on YouTube or Facebook for a live streamed service of our Good Friday Liturgy.

Easter

  • Join us at 10:30am on Sunday, April 12 for a live streamed festive celebration of Easter!

Are these adequate for the observances of Holy Week and Easter? Nope. Not by a long shot. However, this is where we are at the moment. Let’s be. Here. Now. Using these elements–YouTube, Facebook, Agape Meals and Daily Prayers–to help us observe Holy Week reminds us that we are connected not just in friendship from geographical proximity, but fellowship through Christ. But coming together isn’t always the reason we gather. We gather to come into the presence of the Divine. Thank goodness for us, the Divine does not limit itself to the lovely bricks of this big boat of a church building. The Divine will find you where ever and whenever you open your ears to heart and your hearts to listen.


Is it possible that technology can astonish us so much that we are reminded about how close we actually are in spite of our honoring the practices of physical distancing? Let us resolve to be astonished this week. Let us be surprised at how well our patchworked Holy Week observances can bring us into the mind of Christ. Let’s be downright bedazzled at the riches of connection we have at our disposal so that we may once again be renewed for services of healing, relationship and peace.


With great love,
Carolyn+

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