A message from our rector… (from March Keystone)

Posted on Mar 28, 2013

Holy Week Observances at St. Peter’s

Holy Week is the last week of March. It begins with Palm Sunday and continues with Holy Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday. It is the final great exertion in our marathon with Jesus through the desert and into Jerusalem, through the Cross to the dead and into the glorious resurrection. As Christ is manifesting the very heart of our spiritual journey, the Church commemorates and enters into this with the week’s celebration. During Lent, we are boiling down; we are digging and do what is ours to do. Holy Week is the pinnacle of our liturgical practice, the great commemoration of this great turning point in Salvation history.

This Holy Week at St. Peter’s, we will have contemplative prayer at 7:30 am in the Choir, and at 8:30 am, chanted Morning Prayer.

Wednesday, we will have a candle lit prayer period with teaching contemplative prayer and meditation at 6:00 pm in the Choir.

Maundy Thursday is the day we commemorate Christ’s institution of the Eucharist in the Last Supper, along with the great example of servant leadership, with our 10:00 am Eucharist in the Lady Chapel and the ancient liturgy of the day at 7:00 pm. We will transfer the Sacrament to the Lady Chapel and strip the High Altar. We will observe a vigil watch in the Lady Chapel throughout the night, praying before the Sacrament until daybreak.

Good Friday we commemorate the passion and death of Jesus Christ on the Cross, as he gave up his very self, we are invited into this self-offering. The three hours of the Cross will be observed in the Church from 12:00 – 3:00 pm with silent prayer and short readings. The three hours is a simple liturgy and you can come and go as needed. The ancient Good Friday liturgy will begin at 7:00 pm. This is one of our most important commemorations of the year. All are encouraged to participate.

Holy Saturday will be commemorated with Noonday Prayer in the Sanctuary at 12:00, recalling Christ’s time among the dead.

The Easter Vigil will begin at 7:00 pm Saturday night. This is the time our catechumens will be baptized as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the greatest of alleluias.

Easter Sunday we will celebrate with one Eucharistic Liturgy at 9:00 am, followed by brunch and good cheer.

I do not believe I can encourage enough the profound effect of observing Holy Week. The Triduum or the Three days; that is, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil is the culmination of Lent, the great turning point. Each moment, each day has its own light to shine on the spiritual life of the practicing Christian. I commend your most heartfelt observance of this time.

Peace, fr. justin