The Christian life has often been compared to a pilgrimage, a dedicated journey to a place of encounter with God. The Church, through her liturgy, overshadowed by the power of God the Holy Spirit, seeks to open a door for the people of God to enter the Divine Presence.
The ancient liturgies of Holy Week are themselves the result of 4th and 5th century pilgrimages to the Holy Land. These traditional liturgies are the most unusual and vivid of the Christian year, and for the great majority of the world’s Christians mark a period of intense spiritual awareness and devotion.
We enter this time “not only with our hearts and minds, but with our feet as we make procession along with Jesus and his other disciples from Bethany to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, from the Upper Room to the Mount of Olives on Maundy Thursday, from the Judgment Hall to the hill of Calvary on Good Friday, to the tomb in the garden on Holy Saturday and finally to that moment in the heart and silence of God the Father when the Resurrection of his only begotten Son became a reality in time and place”. (G. Furry)
I extend a warm and fervent invitation to everyone as we come together as a parish family to celebrate the mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection, not as spectators, or as those remembering something that happened “long ago in a land far, far, away…”, but as participants
“Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast! (1 Cor. 5, 7)
Yours in faith and love,
Palm Saturday Celebration, March 24, from Three until Six 0’clock
An event for all ages. Bring a friend! Activities include: Interactive Story of Holy Week, preparations for St. Mary’s Easter Cream Tea on April 14: invitation making, flower making, mural painting, cookie decorating; Easter egg dyeing, Palm cross folding, and making flower vases for the guests at Marion Centre Easter. Snack and supper provided. Donations for the Marion Centre will be accepted.
Palm Sunday, March 25th at Ten Thirty
We begin our worship in the Upper Hall by hearing the account of our Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when palm branches (representing victory) were laid before his path. Branches of palm are blessed and distributed. The crucifer will lead us into the church. At the Gospel Lesson, the mood shifts dramatically as we hear the account of Jesus’ sudden rejection by the same people who had earlier hailed him as king. The Holy Communion takes on the solemnity and severity of the Passion. Our Holy Week has begun!
Morning Prayer at 8.30 a.m. and Evening Prayer at 5:00 p.m.
These services are often attended by only a few, but they are especially powerful as the Old Testament lessons are read which point to the passion and death of Jesus Christ. In the New Testament readings, Saint John focuses on the events leading up to the Gospel for Good Friday. We recite the psalms and find ourselves giving expression to our deepest emotions, a quiet and meditative opportunity. If you cannot attend, you are encouraged to read Morning Prayer, the Scripture lessons and Psalms each morning and evening, at home or at your workplace.
Mon Hosea 13:1-14; John 14:1-14; Psalm 94 Tue Isaiah 42:1-9; John 15:1-16; Psalm 71 Wed Numbers 21:4-9; John 16:1-15; Psalm 109 Thu Lamentations 1:1-14; John 17; Psalms 40,41 Fri Genesis 22:1-18; John 18:1-32; Psalm 22 Sat Zechariah 9:9-12; 1 Peter 2:11-end; Psalms 16,30
Mon Hosea 14; John 14:15-end; Psalm 69 Tue Wisdom 2:1,12-end; John 15:17-end; Psalm 7 Wed Leviticus 16:2-24; John 16:16-end; Psalms 120,140 Thu Lamentations 3:1-33; John 13:1-35; Psalms 116,117 Fri Isaiah 50:4-10; John 19:38-end; Psalm 88 Sat Job 19:21-27; John 2:13-22; Psalm 27
Maundy Thursday, March 29 at Six o’clock
This service takes us through the events on the night before Jesus’ death. We wash each other’s feet to remember Jesus’ own act of service and love. The Holy Eucharist recalls the first Eucharist when Jesus commanded us, “Do this in remembrance of Me.” Following the service we join in the parish hall for simple “agape” meal of bread, fruit, vegetables and cheese. At the end of the meal we will sing a hymn and return to the church for the stripping of the altar, symbolizing Jesus’ betrayal and arrest. Worshippers are invited to stay in the darkened church for “the watch,” a period of silent prayer and meditation. “Could you not watch with me one hour?” (Matthew 26.40) . Nursery and Worship Centre is available for younger children.
Good Friday: Celebration of the Lord’s Passion at Twelve Noon
We enter the Good Friday liturgy with the ministers vested only in black, as they were the night before when the church was stripped bare of all decoration and the cross veiled in black. This evocative service brings us to the foot of the cross, with the reading of the Passion from St. John’s Gospel, “the Reproaches” and the Solemn Intercession, Veneration of the Cross and administration of the Holy Communion. Nursery and Worship Centre is available for the younger children.
Tenebrae at Nine o’ Clock
The word Tenebrae is Latin for “shadows” or “darkness.” It can also be translated as “night” or “death.” This service, which comprises of readings, psalms, canticles and the Lamentations of Jeremiah and the gradual extinguishing of candles represent the increasing sorrow of Christ and His gradual descent into death . After the last verse is read, the last candle is put out, and the room is plunged into darkness. A loud noise is sounded in the blackness, to represent the closing of Christ’s tomb. At this point, another lit candle, which has been hidden from view, is brought out symbolizing Christ’s resurrection. The service ends, and the participants leave in contemplative silence.
Easter Sunday , April 1, at Ten Thirty
On Easter morning, we gather in joyous celebration of the “Feast of Feasts”. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus has brought us out of the darkness and sorrow of sin and death into the glorious light of his redeeming love. Christ is Risen! We’ will celebrate in grand style with a Festival Eucharist. Come join us as we sing, “Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!”. Easter brunch will follow in the parish hall, with a Blessing of the Easter baskets, a taste of “Paradise Cake” and Easter egg hunt for the children.