A Message from the Rector: Palm Sunday & Holy Week 2020

by The Rev. Elizabeth G. Maxwell

Dear People of Ascension,

Although we are not able to worship in person, I invite you to join in celebrating this Holy Week in community both online and in spirit. More than ever, we need each other as we navigate this unprecedented time in our lives, our city, our church, our world. More than ever, we need to live into the central message of our faith, so powerfully enacted in our Holy Week stories and liturgy: Christ is risen, and rises in and among us, even in the midst of loss, suffering and chaos. God loves us, and will never leave us. We are signs of that love to the world.

Here is the schedule for this Holy Week. All services will be on Zoom. I hope that out of the limits of this time, new opportunities for prayer, learning and community will emerge. I look forward to sharing them with you.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week (April 6,7,8) 5:30. Evening Prayer continues. As part of a beloved Ascension tradition, we will have lay homilists on those days. Thank you to Elizabeth Adams (Monday), Rusty Moore (Tuesday) and Kate Rutherford (Wednesday) for bringing us a word!

Maundy Thursday (April 9) 7 pm. Agape Meal with music, readings and reflection.

Please note: This is a new experience at Ascension, though it is an old tradition for Maundy Thursday. Please prepare some simple food in your own home, and set it out next to your computer. It is traditional to have bread and wine, as well as some other Lenten fare, and to bless the food as part of the service. This is not a Eucharist, but it does invite our reflection on the sharing of food in community, and the presence of Christ at all our tables. If you have questions, please contact the clergy.

Good Friday (April 10) 12 noon. Readings and Music, the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John, sermon and reflection/veneration of the cross.

Please note: Because we will not be able to venerate the cross in our sanctuary, we invite you to have a cross of some sort ready with you during the service — perhaps one you already own, or one that you make or draw or paint —so that we may venerate our own crosses in ways that work for each of us. Our sense is that this is a year that none of us will ever forget; designating a specific cross to mark this singular year in our lives will serve as a reminder not only of this time, but also of the sacrifices made by so many for the safety and well-being of all of us.

Holy Saturday Morning (April 11) 10 am. Prayers, readings, and waiting on God. (BCP, p. 283)

Easter Vigil (April 11) 7 pm. Lighting of the Paschal Candle, chanting of the Exsultet, readings and music, sermon and renewal of baptismal vows. Easter Proclamation.

Please note: Bring a candle to light as you participate virtually in the service.

Easter Day (April 12) 11 am. Celebrate the resurrection with special music, readings, sermon hymns and prayers.