Dearly Beloved,We move into the holiest time of our Christian year with the arrival of Palm Sunday this weekend. Our entire Holy Week and Easter Schedule is just below in this blog. I have also included some thoughts about Holy Week and Easter, down below, which I hope you will find helpful in understanding the incredible significance of the upcoming week. Please make every effort to be here this coming week, especially on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, to prepare yourself for the majesty of the celebration of the Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. Tomorrow, Saturday, April 8 will be very busy here in the parish. We have several things on tap for the morning, but first… Welcome!
We are pleased to welcome into our parish family Donna Calloway. Donna has been worshipping with us for the past couple months. We are blessed that our Lord has led her to us as we worship Him and live His Gospel!
Parish WorkdayTomorrow is a Parish Workday. We need your help to spruce up our grounds in preparation for Easter. Please come on out in the morning and give us a couple hours of your time. The outside work will begin at 9:00 a.m. First Friday Kids on SaturdayOur young people will be joining us for the outdoor workday and we look forward to having them with us. Palm CrossesSome of the women of the parish will gather to make palm crosses at 10:00 a.m. This is a perfect job if outside work is not particularly your “cup of tea.” Lenten ProjectsThe Men’s and Ladies Lenten Projects will finish up in the morning. Come out for Morning Prayer at 8:00 a.m., have breakfast, and then let’s get the bathrooms and nursery finished!Easter DinnerDon’t forget to sign up for Easter Dinner when you come to church this weekend. No better way to enjoy Esater Day than to worship and then feast with your family in Christ! Keep reading below for the schedules and announcements. And don’t forget to pray for one another and this parish family. Blessings,Fr. Erich
Holy Week & Easter Schedule
Palm Sunday, April 98:00 AM Morning Prayer8:30 AM Holy Communion & Blessings of Palms11:00 AM Holy Communion & Palm Procession(incense used in procession only)12:30 PM Parish Lunch5:30 PM Evening PrayerMonday in Holy Week, April 108:00 AM Morning Prayer12:00 PM Holy Communion5:30 PM Evening Prayer6:30 PM Vestry MeetingTuesday in Holy Week, April 118:00 AM Morning Prayer12:00 PM Holy Communion5:30 PM Evening PrayerWednesday in Holy Week, April 128:00 AM Morning Prayer12:00 PM Stations of the Cross5:30 PM Evening Prayer6:00 PM Holy Communion7:00 PM Choir PracticeMaundy Thursday, April 137:00 AM Holy Communion8:00 AM Morning Prayer12:00 PM Holy Communion5:30 PM Evening Prayer7:00 PM Holy Communion (incense)8:30 PM The Watch ‘til MidnightGood Friday, April 148:00 AM Morning Prayer10:00 AM Divine Liturgy12:00 PM 3 Hour Meditations4:00 PM Confessions5:30 PM Evening Prayer7:00 PM Stations of the CrossEaster Eve, April 158:00 AM Morning Prayer5:30 PM Evening Prayer6:00 PM Easter Vigil Easter Sunday, April 168:30 AM Holy Communion with Music10:00 AM Easter Egg Hunt11:00 AM Festival Celebration of Holy Communion(incense used)12:30 PM Parish Easter Dinner Easter Monday, April 1712:00 PM Holy CommunionEaster Tuesday, April 1812:00 PM Holy CommunionEaster Wednesday, April 196:00 PM Holy Communion
Easter Flowers· Envelopes have been placed in the pews for Easter Flowers. Your gift in memory of a loved one or in thanksgiving for a blessing will be noted in the Easter Day bulletin, April 16. The suggested donation is $25.00 and allows us to purchase lilies and special flower arrays for Easter Day, the Queen of all celebrations for Christian people. Holy Week & Easter· Sunday is Palm Sunday, which begins Holy Week, the most solemn week of the church year. The schedule for the week, as well as the Easter schedule, is printed elsewhere in the bulletin. Be sure to make your plans to make this week “Holy,” which will prepare us all for the great Feast of the Resurrection, Easter Day. Maundy Thursday Watch· One of the most hallowed traditions of Holy Week is the keeping of a Watch by the Blessed Sacrament as we remember Christ’s Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. This Watch begins directly after (about 8:30 p.m.) the Altar is stripped after the Holy Communion on Thursday evening. A sign-up sheet is available to commit yourself to one hour of “Watch time,” following our Lord’s question to Peter, “Couldest not thou watch one hour?” The Watch will last until Midnight. Vestry Meeting· Vestry meets Monday night, April 10, at 6:30 p.m. Adult Sunday School· Adult Sunday School will return on Sunday, April 30. Wednesday Evening Bible Study & Dinner· We are taking a break until April 26. When we return, we will delve into Chapter 19 in the Book of Revelation. Food Bank· Interfaith Assistance Ministry here in Henderson County is this month’s recipient of our in-gathering of food stuffs. Annual Lenten Appeal· Our national church’s appeal this year is for Domestic Missions. Go to www.anglicanprovince.org and read all about it. Annual Primrose Tea· The Ladies of All Saints Annual Primrose Tea will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM at the Hensley’s home in Hendersonville. There is a sign-up sheet on the Parish News bulletin board. There is also a menu sign-up for those who would like to bring a dish. This year, the ladies will have the added joy of celebrating Father Erich and Kathy’s first grandchild by hosting a baby shower for their daughter, Katie Powali. Please see Cynthia Hensley for more details.
Thoughts on Holy Week & Easter
Easter is rightly called the Queen of Feasts. Like a queen she reigns over every other event in world history. Like a queen she reigns supreme over every other feast in the Christian year. Yet, to understand her greatness, we must see how all that went before is fulfilled in her, and how she is a new beginning for all future time. Easter is the completion of a great mystery: she is the beginning of a mystery as great. It would be easier for us to remember the true meaning of the feast if its name were derived directly from the Hebrew Pasch, as is the English Passover and the French Pâques. For Easter is the Christian Pasch, or Passover. Let us begin at the beginning. When man first sinned God promised a Saviour; and this promise he repeated to Abraham, whom he appointed father of the Chosen People through whom the Saviour would come. This Chosen People first came on to the stage of world history when, slaves in Egypt, they escaped through the desert to Palestine. Their escape, the Exodus, was accompanied by many strange happenings, and they always looked back to these happenings as God’s seal on their special mission. The Psalmist, St Stephen, St Peter, St Paul, point to these happenings as the credentials of the Jews as the Chosen People of God. The Passover feast of the Jews commemorated the events which accompanied the “passing over” of their forefathers from the slavery of Egypt to the freedom of Palestine. The “passing over” had started with a meal for which a lamb without blemish had been slain without a bone of its body being broken; its blood had been sprinkled on the door-posts of their houses so that the angel of death might pass over them; and the lamb had been eaten. Then had followed many signs of God’s special care for them: the safe crossing of the waters of the Red Sea which had drowned Pharaoh and the Egyptians; the light guiding them by night; the manna feeding them in the desert; until they eventually reached the land of promise. So God brought forth his Chosen People from slavery to freedom. But the events which accompanied the Exodus from Egypt not only sealed the Israelites as the Chosen People of God; they were also a kind of rehearsal for the way in which God would eventually redeem mankind as a whole, and each individual as an individual. It was as if God allowed the shadow to appear centuries before, so that when the reality came it might be recognized. Christ was the reality of which these events were the shadow. He was the true Lamb, slain without a bone of his body being broken. His blood was shed and sprinkled so that the angel of death might pass over his people dying in sin. As the Israelites had passed through the Red Sea from death to life, so Christ passed through the sepulchre from death to life. As the enemies of the Israelites had been drowned in the waters of the Red Sea, so by his death Christ destroyed the enemies of mankind, sin and death. Christ is the true light, lighting man through the darkness of this world. He is the true manna, giving his body and blood to be the food of man in the wilderness of this life. So we have a second Passover: the passing over of Jesus Christ from death to life, fulfilling the pattern of the ancient passing over of the Jews from Egypt to Palestine. So was the first Easter Day the completion of a great mystery. But it was the beginning of a mystery as great. For Christ passed over from death to life so that each human soul might pass over from death in sin to eternal life. The events of the Exodus were not only a rehearsal for Christ’s passing over; they were also a rehearsal for each individual soul’s passing over. Born in captivity to sin, man passes through the waters, not of the Red Sea, but of Baptism, his soul cleansed by the blood of the Lamb of God. Christ is the light and the food of his soul, leading him through the wilderness of this life to the promised land of heaven. Easter is the Christian Passover (or more exactly, Good Friday and Easter together are), for the Passover is a passing over from death to life. As the ancient Passover included the preparation of a lamb for the Passover feast, so the first five days of Holy Week are the preparation of the Lamb of God for his Passover, starting with his entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. During Holy Week and Easter the Church employs every device of her Liturgy (that is, of her public, official worship of God) to gather together all three strands of the Passover; taking us back in mind to the Passover of the Jews in Egypt and to the Passover of Christ in Jerusalem, and reminding us of our own Passover. Weaving all the Scriptures into one magnificent tapestry, she shows Christ as the fulfilment of the ancient prophecies, and his Passover as the reality of which the Jewish Passover was the shadow. Nowhere is the unity of the Bible better seen: one is left in no doubt that the one Testament without the other has no meaning. It is significant that during Holy Week, which is the climax of the New Testament, the Old Testament is heard more than the New. We must pause to consider another way in which Christ fulfills the Old Testament. One of the ways in which God prepared his people for the coming of the Saviour was by scattering clues through the Old Testament, so that when the Saviour came he might be recognizable. Did not Herod ask the priests and scribes where Christ should be born? And they had been able to give him an answer: In Bethlehem, because Micah had foretold it. The four Evangelists, and St Peter and St Paul in the Acts of the Apostles, constantly use these clues to prove that Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Saviour. To mention only a few instances: The triumphal entry into Jerusalem is seen as a fulfilment of a prophecy of Isaiah; the betrayal by Judas a fulfilment of the Psalmist; our Lord on the Cross applies to himself the words of the 22nd psalm; St Peter quotes a psalm in support of the Resurrection. In this way the Old Testament is of a truth, in the words of the writer to the Hebrews, “a shadow of good things to come”. The Liturgy is much more than a dramatic representation: it is the means whereby the Church unites us to the mysteries of Christ. At Baptism we become members of the Mystical Body of Christ: we are grafted to Christ as a branch is grafted to a tree. And just as a branch grows not only by the action of the sap within it, but also by the action of the sun and rain from without, so we grow by grace both from prayer and sacrament and also by outwardly uniting ourselves to Christ in his mysteries through the Liturgy. And when participation in the Liturgy includes assisting at Mass and receiving Holy Communion, then indeed we are using the means at our disposal for growing in Christ. And nowhere is this truer than in the Passover Liturgy of Holy Week and Easter. A great means of grace is placed at our disposal: it is for us to use it. So on Palm Sunday once more (some perhaps for the first time) we go up to Jerusalem with our blessed Lord. For three days we shall prepare: on Thursday we shall be with him at the Last Supper and in Gethsemane; on Friday at the foot of the Cross. And, if we are faithful, we shall be prepared for the climax of the whole week, indeed of the whole Christian Liturgy: the Easter Vigil of Saturday night, leading without a break to the Passover itself in the early hours of Easter morning. For this is the Christian Passover, Beginning in the darkness of the tomb, we shall be with Christ (depicted in the Paschal Candle) as he returns to life. We shall see the Candle plunged into the baptismal water–the Risen Christ giving power to the water so that the soul washed in it may die with him to sin and pass over with him to life. Finally, at about the hour when he rose from the tomb, the Church will bring him sacramentally to her altar, so that we may join in offering the one all-sufficient Paschal Lamb, and feed on the true manna of his Body and Blood, before we go out into the world to continue our own Passovers in striving to fulfil the baptismal promises we have just renewed. What a wealth lies hid in this Liturgy! What gifts God has in store for our soul! Pray earnestly for your own sake and for the sake of your fellow-men that the Holy Spirit may help you to find them and to make them your own.–from Holy Week and Easter: the services explained.
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