Holy Week: A Mere Seven Days That Changed The World

TriduumPoster2015Web

Holy Week: a mere seven days the changed the world and remains at the heart and soul of what all Christians hold so sacred and dear.

Palm Sunday is a celebration, a joyous occasion. Jesus is home to Jerusalem and everyone gathers to catch a glimpse of this carpenter’s son, this miracle worker. Capes and palm branches are thrown to the ground in a show of respect and reverence. Jesus rides into town upon a donkey in a show of humility. This sight certainly made people think. People questioned is this truly “the one” who is to be our leader? There is no chariot or team of stallions leading him in. What kind of king is He? Doubt enters their minds. The enthusiasm and exuberance begins to wane.

The joyfulness turns to bitterness and pain. Agony and sorrow defeat and wipe away any remnant of happiness. His closest friends abandon and deny Him. Seven days after Jesus’ triumphant entry in to the city, He undergoes a most Passionate of times and ultimately surrenders, giving over His body to human death.

How can a people change their attitude so quickly? What was it that changed their feelings? Who was it that altered their thinking? What polluted their hearts? What infected their minds? Was it mere human folly, ignorance or fear? Did the people want some one with more strength, more authority, some one much more outspoken and defiant? Or was it simply Scripture being fulfilled?

My sisters and brothers, this week is truly a celebration for in this week we celebrate our salvation. It is in the death of Jesus that we are born to eternal life. His sacrifice brings us the joys of Paradise, for us and for all God’s people.

Let us in earnest prayer be mindful of the immense gifts that we receive. Let us be ever aware that Jesus, our most Holy Redeemer, though he died in human terms, never left us, never abandoned us and never leaves our side. Jesus remains our closest and most loving friend. Is this not reason for celebration? Is this not a cause for rejoicing?

My prayers and blessings are with each and every one of my St. Nicholas community members: I pray that we lay bear our hearts to feel something of Jesus’ suffering. I pray our minds are open to comprehend the totality of this historical encounter, when heaven and earth co-mingled is such a miraculous manner in order to afford us the gift of a life more glorious.

Celebrate and let us keep our eyes fixed on the prize that awaits us.

Let us all celebrate a most blessed and joyful Holy Week.

Let us all celebrate a most blessed and joyful Easter.

God keep, strengthen and sustain us, one and all.

Amen.

manny@stnicholasepiscopal.org

Manny

Father Manny150

A Blessed Passover To Our Jewish Sisters And Brothers

OrangeSederPlate

The Jewish people celebrate Passover as a commemoration of their liberation by God from slavery in Egypt and their freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses. It commemorates the story of The Exodus as described in the Hebrew Bible, most notably in the Book of Exodus, in which the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt.

Passover begins on Friday April 3rd and concludes on the evening on April 11th.

We wish all our dear sisters and brothers of the Jewish faith a most blessed and joyful Passover. May God the Creator and Father of all bless, sustain, and strengthen us all.

Image courtesy of “The Real Story of the Orange on the Seder Plate

Holy Week at St Nicholas: You Are Always Welcome

You Are Invited

You Are Invited

Holy Week & Easter Service Times

All are warmly invited

Maundy Thursday Service
Thursday, April 2
7:00 p.m.

This evening marks the beginning of the Triduum (three days). Tonight we begin a celebration that will not end until the exultant conclusion of the Great Vigil of Easter. We hear the story of Jesus’ sharing of himself with us, and his ultimate sacrifice of love. In washing the hands of our neighbors, as Jesus once washed the feet of his followers, we are reminded that we are called to love one another.

Good Friday Service

Friday, April 3
7:00 p.m.

When we return on Good Friday, we hear about Jesus’ betrayal, capture and trial. We hear of his humiliation, his interrogation. We are reminded that the night, for him, was long and lonely.

During the liturgy we reverence the Cross because Jesus’ death was, paradoxically, the moment of his triumph.

Blessing of Easter Food

Saturday, April 4
12:00 Noon in the Church

Blessing of Easter Baskets & Food Come and experience this ancient tradition. Bring some of the food you’ll serve on Easter Sunday and have it blessed. There are prayers of blessing for all kinds of food and drink. In Holy Saturdays past, some have even brought Easter Baskets that the Easter Bunny dropped off early! All are welcome.

The Great Vigil of Easter

Saturday, April 4
8:00 p.m.

No other service in our shared experience is as full of the heritage of our faith; no other time in the year do we gather together all of the richest metaphors and symbols of faith. We gather outside around a new fire, itself a sign of creation renewed. From it we light the paschal candle to illumine our way. As the pillar of fire led the people of Israel in the wilderness, so the paschal candle will lead us to Easter — the light of Christ our beacon. One by one, we proclaim and hear the stories of our faith. We recall our ancestors and God’s saving work among us throughout the ages — creation from a Word, the earth washed clean in the flood, the deliverance at the Red Sea, dry bones given life again. At our font we remember our own welcome into the community of faith, and we are reminded that at this font we welcome others into our faith. Finally, we hear again that death has been defeated. He is risen!

Please note: there is no 4:30 liturgy on this day.

Easter Sunday

Sunday, April 5
10:00 a.m.

Come and share the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection with this community of faith. Let it transform you. Let it give you hope. Let it give you strength. Most importantly, let it remind you to give hope to others. Let it remind you to be light for the world.

Rumor has it that the Easter Bunny will be paying a special visit to St. Nicholas after this service. While the children wait, they can enjoy an Easter Egg Hunt in true St. Nicholas style!