Friday, April 03, 2009

Holy Week

Holy Week is nearly upon us, a time when we join together and mark the most significant of celebrations in the whole liturgical calendar.

We begin this Sunday morning at 10:30am with Passion Sunday. We will hear the passion of Jesus according to Mark, but we will begin with the Liturgy of the Palms, celebrating the triumphant entry of the Messiah into Jerusalem with palm branches and a procession. The tension between the celebration of the Messiah's entry into Jerusalem, and the immediacy of his crucifixion, makes this liturgy rife with irony, and makes for a good opportunity for personal reflection on how we both celebrate Jesus in our lives, even while we often reject him.

The Great Triduum of Easter, one liturgy over three days, begins on Thursday at 7:30pm with Maundy Thursday. We will begin with the washing of feet. This is certainly uncomfortable for many of us, myself included. Be comforted that it is only for those wishing to participate, though I would encourage you despite your discomfort, as a gentle reminder that the Christian life can call us out to sometimes doing uncomfortable things. We will continue with a eucharist that remembers the last supper in particular. We will finish worship with the stripping of the altar, and our own departure into the night.

The Great Triduum continues on Good Friday morning at 10:30am, with prayers and the meditation on the cross.

The Great Triduum ends on Saturday evening,at 9pm with the Great Vigil of Easter. (Even though we call it a vigil, don't think it lasts all night! We will end around 10:30pm.) This is truly the high point of the whole liturgical calendar, when we celebrate the resurrection with the first eucharist after Good Friday. The Vigil is a candle-lit service that includes the renewal of our baptismal vows and a chanted eucharist. If you worship once in the year - this is the service to be at! We will end the Triduum on this night with our resurrection party right after worship, hosted by Karen and I, with champagne, sparkling apple juice, cheese and crackers.

On the Sunday of the Resurrection we will begin worship with the flowering of the cross, a visual reminder of how, even through the ugliness and shame of crucifixion, eternal life has come to us in Jesus's resurrection. If you think of it, bring some fresh flowers - but if you forget, we will have some extras for you.

Palm Sunday: April 5th, 10:30am

Maundy Thursday: April 9th, 7:30pm

Good Friday: April 10th, 10:30am

Easter Vigil: April 11th, 9pm

Easter Sunday: April 12th, 10:30am

The Parish of St. Mary Magdalene, 3 St. Vital Road, Winnipeg Manitoba

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