Holy Week is the most important week in the year for Christians.
One of the many, many reasons I love the Anglican expression of Christianity is that we do faith with our whole body. We do not just live our faith in our heads, focusing on what we think or on what we hear or have read. Anglicans have always known that what we do with our bodies affects our spirits as much as what we say with our lips. So when we engage with the most important parts of our faith—baptism, communion, ministry with the sick, remembering the key events in Jesus’ life—we don’t just listen to a sermon or read scripture and pray privately. We engage our whole selves in worship and prayer experiences which integrate the Scripture and our lips, minds, hearts, and bodies.
Holy Week is the time we do this most profoundly. On Palm Sunday we remember both the people honoring Jesus as King and also his trial, torture, and death. Because no single worship service can truly include all that, we then journey with Jesus more closely in the days that follow. On Maundy Thursday we remember his last night with his disciples and on Good Friday we focus on his crucifixion. Then on Holy Saturday evening we put it all together in the Easter Vigil, in which we tell the whole sweep of the story of God’s tireless love, using the contrast of light and dark and symbolism of water and sound, till finally we proclaim Christ is Risen! The celebration continues the next morning.
In reality the services of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Great Vigil are really three segments of one larger service. Participating in all three “chapters” allows the whole story to envelop us.
I invite you to make Holy Week a priority in your spiritual life this year. Allow the good news of God’s saving us to penetrate deep down into your spirit. Attend the services. Volunteer to have a part in them—whether as a reader for the Palm Sunday drama or the Great Vigil or helping with the several parts of the Maundy Thursday service
If you would like to know more about why we do what we do in those services, please stay after coffee hour this Sunday, March 30. I will be offering an over- view of the services and answering questions and giving time for discussion. If you would like to participate in one of the services as a reader or leading in some other capacity, please contact Jim Kelliher and also plan to stay after cof- fee hour on Sunday April 6, when we will have a short rehearsal/walk-through of the services.
May we all have a blessed Holy Week this year.