Saturday, April 11, 2020

All Creation Waits...and Then...

“What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled.
So begins one of the richest, most powerful homilies of the ancient church. On this Holy Saturday, creation holds its breath because Christ has died.
And yet, something IS happening.
Resurrection is happening.
Here you will find prayers for Holy Saturday and the service for The Great Vigil of Easter. If you'd like to welcome Easter with us, the video will premier at 7:00 am on 12 April on the YouTube channel of St. Michael the Archangel Episcopal Church. Gather your candles. Open your Bible. 
And welcome Resurrection!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Lamentation - Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday

In usual years, this Holy Wednesday means I gather with my congregation for a Service of Healing in the evening. It's based on the Orthodox tradition of offering ourselves for healing in body, mind, and spirit as we prepare to encounter Christ in the Triduum, the Three Holy Days, and welcome the transforming love we witness in these liturgies.

Because of the Coronavirus and the love we are all showing our neighbors, we are staying healthy at home this year and gathering in spirit and in love. I can't say there isn't tremendous loss for me in this. While I know we are absolutely doing the correct thing to flatten the curve and to make sure medical care is available for all who will need it during this pandemic, I am also grieving the gathering in solemn prayer, the beautiful hymns and anthems of our choir, the visual grandeur that the floral guild and altar guild create for each service, and mostly, the gathering of God's people.

This Holy Week reminds me God is the God who loves us enough to hold our laments, just as a parent holds a distressed child who cannot be comforted because life is too much and the feelings are too big to be easily fixed.

So we weep, and we lament, and we sit in this place.

And we pray with Jesus, who understands and welcomes it all.

The service for Holy Wednesday, featuring the Lamentations of Jeremiah chanted with intercessions in a time of pandemic prayed, is included, as well as the services for Holy Week at Home for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday in Google Drive.

The Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services will both be available on the YouTube channel of St. Michael's Lexington. Click here to subscribe to be notified when they go live.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Prayers for Tuesday in Holy Week

Hi all!

Sorry for the delay - today is the only day in April that the city is collecting yard waste, so in that other duties as assigned category, I spent the morning getting limbs and dead leaves to the curb.

Here are the prayers for Tuesday in Holy Week.

Peace to you all this week.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Prayers for Monday in Holy Week

Monday in Holy Week


Light your candle in your sacred space. Take a few moments of silence. You may choose to pray the Daily Office (Morning or Evening Prayer in the Book of Common Prayer if you choose). Otherwise, you can pray the following Prayer service (modeled after the short form of Noonday prayers from the Book of Common Prayer and Common Worship). This prayer can be prayed anytime on Holy Monday. This service is also located on the Google Drive Holy Week 2020 for those who would prefer a printed copy. 

Again, you can share parts with those in your household, call or use social media to pray with a group, or pray all the parts yourself. All are great ways to pray.


Opening Acclamation

Officiant        O God, make speed to save us.
All                  O Lord, make haste to help us.
Officiant        My trust is in you, O Lord.
All                   I have said, “You are my God.”

from Psalm 113 

Give praise, you servants of the LORD; *
    praise the Name of the LORD.
Let the Name of the LORD be blessed, *
    from this time forth for evermore.
From the rising of the sun to its going down *
    let the Name of the LORD be praised.
The LORD is high above all nations, *
    and his glory above the heavens.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit*
     as it was in the beginning, is not, and shall be forever. Amen.

You may also read Psalm 22:1-11 instead. Psalm 22 begins on page 610 of the Book of Common Prayer.

A Reading from the Gospel of John 12:1-11

Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, "Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?" (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, "Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me." When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.

After a time of silence, all say the Canticle,

Canticle of the Passion

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,
because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Holy God,
holy and strong,
holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.
We glory in your cross, O Lord,
and praise and glorify your holy resurrection:
for by virtue of the cross joy has come to the whole world.

Meditation - Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

Thanks to SALT for sharing this video.

Questions for reflection - what does your soft human body (as Mary Oliver writes) love the way Mary loved Jesus? What has that love looked like in your life? 

The Prayers

Prayers may be offered for ourselves and others.

The Lord's Prayer 
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.           

The Collect for Monday in Holy Week
 Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The service ends with the following

Officiant     Let us bless the Lord.
All              Thanks be to God.

Mary Anoints Christ’s Feet by Ilyas Basim Khuri Bazzi Rahib (1684) 
Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland