Weekly ePistle 4/1/15

Holy Week and Easter Blessings

As you receive this, we will be about to enter the Triduum: the Great Three Days. The name comes from Latin roots that mean, essentially, “the three days” or “period of three days” (tri- = three, -dies = days). In our tradition, the Triduum spans Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Eve.

On Maundy Thursday, we gather in the parish hall to share a simple meal and hear the story of the Last Supper. Then we go into the church for the Foot Washing, Communion, and the Stripping of the Altar. A prayer vigil is kept through the night in remembrance of Jesus’ night of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. On the evening of Good Friday, we gather in the darkened, empty church for the Mass of the Pre-sanctified Gifts and the Veneration of the Cross. 

The Easter Eve service is at St. Ann’s in Woodstock. It includes the Great Vigil, Reaffirmation of our Baptismal Vows, and the First Eucharist of Easter. [Note: the offering at this service will be given for the Food Truck we are sponsoring in May.] Easter morning at 10am, we will sing the great Easter hymns as we celebrate Easter Day here at St. Paul’s!

Wherever and however you keep these holy days, it is my prayer that you will be blessed with a renewed sense of God’s mercy and love.

A Prayer for 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.

A Prayer for Easter Day

Almighty God, who through you only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, now and for ever. Amen.

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Holy Week

Holy Wednesday – Holy Eucharist, 7:00 pm
Maundy Thursday – Agape Meal/Eucharist, 7:00 pm
Good Friday – Stations of the Cross, Noon
Mass of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts,  7:00 pm
Easter Eve – Vigil and First Eucharist of Easter
St Ann’s, Woodstock, 7:30 pm 
Easter Sunday – April 5, 10:00 am – Feast of the Resurrection

AGAPE MEAL on Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday, or Thursday in Holy Week, recalls the Last Supper at which Jesus shared a meal (some say the Passover) and washed the feet of his disciples. We will gather in the parish hall for a simple meal for the readings and a brief homily. Then we will go into the church for the foot washing, Communion, and the Stripping of the Altar. This is a powerful and provocative service you don’t want to miss.

Even if you have not made a reservation, call the church office today or Thursday to indicate your plans to attend.

Immediately after this service, the Reserve Sacrament (consecrated bread and wine) is taken to the Chapel of Repose – this year, in the newly re-dedicated Julian Chapel – where the prayer vigil begins and continues through Good Friday. The church will be open for any and all who wish to keep watch through the night in remembrance of Jesus’ own prayer vigil in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before his crucifixion.


Lessons and Hymns for Sunday, April 5th

(Easter Day – Year B)
by the Rev. William McLemore

THE SCRIPTURE LESSONS:  

The First Reading: Acts 10:34-43 or Isaiah 25:6-9. The passage from Acts recalls a sermon of St. Peter about the nature of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Isaiah recalls the promise of God in a wonderful redemptive act.

The Psalm: Psalm 118:1-2,14-24. The goodness of the Lord and the day of triumph calls for the people to “rejoice and be glad in it.”

The Epistle: I Corinthians 15:1-11 or Acts 10:34-43. Paul recalls the appearance of Jesus to various people after His Resurrection and last of all to him. The Acts passage is discussed above.

The Gospel:  John 20:1-18 or Mark 16:1-8. Both passages offer their particular accounts of the discovery of the empty tomb.

THE HYMNS: 

Processional Hymn: No. 179. “Welcome Happy Morning.” This hymn, along with other Easter music, is the creation of the Italian-born poet, Venantius Honorius Fortunatus (c540-600). It was translated into English by the prolific British hymn writer, the Rev. John Ellerton (1826-1893). The music was composed by Arthur Seymour Sullivan (1842-1900) and is given the name, “Fortunatus,” in honor of the author.

Sequence Hymn: Instead of a traditional hymn, we will sing a Celtic Alleluia before the Gospel throughout the season of Easter.

Presentation Hymn: No. 174. “At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing.” This hymn is very ancient and emerges in Latin in the breviary of Pope Urban VIII (1568-1644). It has been translated into English by Robert Campbell (1814-1868).   The tune, “Salzburg,” is a melody by Jakob Hintze (1622-1702) and harmonized by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). “Hymns of glory, songs of praise, Father, unto thee we raise: risen Lord, all praise to thee with the Spirit ever be.”

Communion Hymn: No. 304. “I Come With Joy.”  This hymn is a product of the Rev. Dr. Brian A. Wren, born in Britain on June 3, 1936 and a minister and scholar of the United Reformed Church. Most recently he was the Conant Professor of Worship, Columbia Theological Seminary, in Decatur, Georgia. He wrote this hymn in 1971 with Hope Publishing Company holding the copyright. The tune is an American folk melody.

Recessional Hymn: No. 207. “Jesus Christ is Risen Today.” This classic hymn for Easter dates back to a 14th century Bohemian carol. Over the years, it has been continuously altered and the fourth and final verse was written by Charles Wesley. The tune, “Easter Hymn,” is from the English, “Lyrica Davidica,” published in London in 1708.


Top 10 Reasons to be an Episcopalian

Reason 7

“You don’t have to check your brains at the door.”

Robin Williams, Comedian


From the cartoons created by the Rev. William P. McLemore

1965 – 2014

Easter 09