Spring has sprung all around us, good people. The birds continue their symphony, the buds and flowers are popping out all around us. Beauty abounds even in a pollen haze. I hope those that can have been able to get outside to enjoy our natural world. We have moved from Winter to Spring. Winter is finally over. And before the COVID-19 virus, we would have been planning services in our cathedral for the upcoming holy days and the Great Triduum leading to Easter. Sadly, this year will look differently as we remain sheltered in place.
Sacred spaces are important, and our holy space at St. Mary's is special to so many. I name my own grief at not being able to gather together in our sacred space, and I know I'm not alone, because so many of you have shared the same. Not being able to gather collectively in our cathedral during Holy Week and Easter only adds to the magnitude of that grief, but I believe there is an invitation here for us. Where in your own home or living area might you create your own sacred space? All it takes is setting apart a corner or special spot and simply placing a candle, cross, Bible, or other object on a piece of cloth. Scripture encourages us to set aside a space for prayer (Matthew 6:6.) Where might yours be? Click here for some ideas. It occurs to me, as we move into some of our most sacred of days with Holy Week and Easter, we can attend to both our spiritual and emotional health by creating our own sacred space. During this temporary time we are away from St. Mary's, I invite you to create a sacred space and use it during these upcoming days of Holy Week and Easter (and beyond!). If you would like to share, take a picture and send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will share these wonderful sacred spaces as a part of our Thursday e-news.
I have been giving thanks for the creative ways we have now in place to remain connected spiritually and emotionally. I am especially thankful to the St. Mary's staff who, because we do not have a full-time communications strategist or videographer, are working tirelessly to learn new online capabilities and dream new ways of sharing God's Good News and Way of Love. Thank you to the many parishioners who have so generously offered their interpretations of scripture for our weekly Lenten meditations. I have personally been touched by your illumination and call to see God's invitation around us. Also, thank you for the ways our children's Sunday School teachers are finding ways to connect with our kiddos in such loving ways. One classroom has taken their Sunday lesson "on the road" and made porch deliveries! I have also been so touched by the generosity continuing for our Wednesday food ministry. So many are stepping forward financially and with food items. Amazing! And lastly, I hope you are finding comfort and peace in our newly created, musical meditations now sent daily to your inbox. Christ is indeed present all around us!
Below is our upcoming schedule for Holy Week. It has been gathered and created with love, creativity, and a whole lotta faith. All of us here at the Cathedral pray that these Holy Week and Easter liturgies will nourish and bless you as we gather to retrace the final days of Jesus' earthly life. For 2,000 years people of faith have been walking this path together. We will continue to do so this year in both familiar and new ways. Trust the Spirit and know that God will be and is with each and every one of us.
Holy Week and Easter:
Palm Sunday 10 am via Facebook live-streaming
You will need two items with you for this service:
- Branches like crepe myrtles, magnolias, or any kind of branch near your home that can be cut (with approval from neighbors!) to be waved around like a palm branch
- A candle to light
A resource packet will be sent out Monday, April 6 by email and post for a home gathering service with prayers and scripture and a pre-recorded sermon by Deacon Drew Woodruff.
You will need these items to gather ahead of time:
- A bowl of water and a small towel to dry wet feet.
Come gather for prayers, sermon and to hear the sacred Passion chanted by choir members
Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil
A resource packet will be sent out Monday, April 6 by email and post for a home gathering service with prayers and scripture.
You will need to gather ahead of time:
- A bible, a candle, a bowl of water
Easter Sunday 10am via Facebook Bishop Phoebe will be our preacher and share a pre-recorded sermon.
You will need some celebratory items:
- Bubbles, champagne, an Easter bonnet and/or bowtie, Easter eggs, the sky is the limit!