I’m writing to share our plans for Holy Week, with some specifics about our services on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Easter.
I’ll do that below. But first, here’s a link to a short message from me this morning, with some updates about what the church staff are up to these days, and then a word of hope from the prophet Jeremiah:
I know the plans I have for you . . .
So, now, here are our plans for our observance of Holy Week:
This Sunday is not only Palm Sunday, it’s a Communion Sunday. And I wanted to assure you that we will share in that sacrament together.
To make that possible — and I recommend you do this before you tune into the service — let me invite you to have some bread and a cup, already filled, close at hand.
Because I do not want to put anyone’s health at risk, there is no need to rush out to the store to buy bread or juice specifically for this purpose.
You should feel free to use whatever you have on hand. This may be bread, but it may be brownies or tortillas. And it may be grape juice, or it may be milk, or orange juice or actual wine.
Because, as I said in an email to Session about this, I’m quite certain that this is what Jesus would do:
He would use whatever is available to share in this meal because the holiness of the Lord’s Super is not in the elements themselves; the holiness is in the act of blessing them, and breaking them, and receiving them all together, as a strong reminder of the presence of the living Christ in our midst.
So, when the time comes I will lead us through our Communion liturgy and we will receive those elements together.
We will offer a very brief Maundy Thursday service — a song or two, a reading of the story of that night, and some ritual to help prepare us for our entrance into the final three days of our Lenten journey: Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter.
I am excited about the plans we have for Easter, plans which I hope will make our observance of this most holy day special and meaningful, even under these difficult circumstances. I will not spoil those plans by sharing them with you ahead of time.
But here’s what I will say: We would welcome your help to celebrate Easter and to make it memorable.
If you have a smart phone, I would love for you to record a short video — and by short I mean perhaps thirty seconds or less — about where you’re seeing the truth of Easter play out in your life and in our world at large in these trying times:
- Where are you seeing signs of hope?
- Where are you seeing signs of new life?
- Where are you seeing or experiencing the presence of the risen Christ?
If you’ll email those to me — and that’s why they have to be short, so that they can be sent via email — if you’ll send those to me, we will compile them into a video that we will play at the close of our service — after what I believe is going to be a very special postlude.
It’s a way for us to feel a sense of connection with one another even though we are apart, and to celebrate and testify to the joy of this most holy day.
Okay, that’s more than enough from me for now. Please stay safe and stay healthy. And, as always, may God’s peace fill you today and in the days to come.
Love and blessings,
P.S. I suggested that for Communion, you have the cup already filled ahead of time. It occurred to me that you may wish to fill your cup at home, as I fill the chalice on the Communion table, just to make the connection even more palpable.