Holy Triduum during COVID-19 (Updated bulletin links)
Updated: Apr 9
We're all still in the midst of doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 and now we are in the midst of our holiest of weeks together, counting the days until the Holy Triduum. I'm referring to the three holy days of our Christian year together--Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and finally, reaching the pinnacle, of The Great Vigil of Easter on the night of Holy Saturday (the actual beginning of Easter). I hope most, if not all of you, were able to join me as we kicked off Holy Week together with the Palm Sunday liturgy. Despite the challenges of poor internet connection speeds, we were able to get most of the live stream across (with the exception of some of the Palm procession). We have actually put in an order to increase our speeds, that will take several weeks to address however.
We have made such great technological progress together at St. Philip's within a very short period of time and I am proud of you all! You are joining me for streaming services and several of you have even contributed to St. Philip's online now--well done. Again, should I need to stream services from home, I am prepared to do so.
Maundy Thursday, 6:30 p.m. (fb.com/stphilipspalestine)
As we approach Maundy Thursday, I want to encourage each of you to have a way to wash your feet, or one another's feet in your household, when the time arises in that service, as a way of living into Jesus' command to love one another. Also, when it comes time for the stripping of the Altar, you may consider removing or covering holy elements that you have set aside in a special place for you at your home, these will be uncovered or replaced in time for the Great Vigil of Easter!
Good Friday, noon (fb.com/stphilipspalestine)
On Good Friday, we experience the most stark service of the entire year together. Things are stripped down, the Holy Eucharist is unavailable to us, even for Spiritual Communion, and we contemplate and enter into the mystery that is Christ's death on the cross. We wrestle with the fact that God made man died for us and for our salvation and is placed in the tomb. Then join me at 1 p.m. for Stations of the Cross (bulletin at https://drive.google.com/open?id=1aSXgj1rAtvXY5mN2RUAWNQwhafa0ssGO)
The Great Vigil of Easter, Holy Saturday 8 p.m. (fb.com/stphilipspalestine)
As the sun sets, we find ourselves in the beginning of the Easter season and celebrate that beginning and the dawn of the hope in the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ with the most sacred of liturgies--The Great Vigil of Easter! If there is ever a service to not miss, it is this one! You may remember me saying last year, if you attended this, don't worry about coming on Easter Sunday morning. To some extent, that is true. If you miss the Easter Vigil you'll miss where that big candle (the Paschal Candle) came from, you'll miss the stories of our ancestors, the Israelites, you'll miss how we got out of the darkness we were in on Good Friday, you'll miss the dawning of Easter! It takes a lot of work to put together and it's worth all of it!
And, then there's Easter Sunday at 10:30 a.m. (bulletin at https://drive.google.com/open?id=1_9O9nt4qUePqWaj5taU6lOLAjKa8ykWi). But honestly, it's less important than the Holy Triduum, after all Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and The Great Vigil of Easter all have special liturgies, Easter Sunday does not.
As always, if you could benefit from a pastoral conversation, please don't hesitate to call me on my mobile number at (five-one-two) seven-nine-nine nine-three-six-five or email me at email@example.com. I can arrange a virtual face-to-face meeting too! Continued prayers for you all as we lean into Holy Week together and wrestle with these times of uncertainty on the brink of proclaiming the good news of Jesus' resurrection!
Blessed Holy Week,
Fr. Justin Briggle, Rector
St. Philip's Episcopal Church