We are well into the season of Lent. It will only be a few more days until Holy Week begins. During Holy Week we trace the last few days of Jesus’s life. This is the most important week in the life of the church. We will be gathering together several times over the course of the week.
Holy Week Schedule:
Sunday, March 20: Palm/Passion Sunday. Service at 11:00 am. There will be no Eucharist this Sunday.
Thursday, March 24: Maundy Thursday. St. Philip’s will be joining with St. Mark’s and St. Mary Magdalene for a symbolic Seder Supper. This begins at 6:00 pm and is being help at St. Mary Madgalene Anglican Church, 3 St. Vital Road. Rev. Donald will be taking on the role of the father in the Seder Supper. Maundy Thursday also marks the institution of the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist, and the act of Jesus washing his disciples feet.
Good Friday, March 25 : Good Friday Service, 11 am.
Easter Sunday, March 27: Easter Morning Eucharist, 11 am.
This Sunday St. Philip’s will be celebrating Palm-Passion Sunday. This is the opening of Holy Week. Much like the Gospel writers place the bulk of their focus on the last days of Jesus’s life, so too do we as a church.
It may seem odd to celebrate both Palm Sunday, and the Crucifixion at the same time. Especially since we set aside Good Friday to mark the death of Jesus. Some of the more cynical may think this is simply to save people from showing up on Good Friday. Certainly there does seem to be more than a few people who feel this way.
However, Holy Week is also called Passion Week. Passion means suffering. If Palm Sunday is a reminder of Jesus as the conquering Messiah, Passion Sunday reminds us that the coronation will involve a crown of thrones. Not only that, but Jesus will be exalted not to a throne but to a cross.
These are powerful stories. As such, at St. Philip’s Palm/Passion Sunday will not feature a sermon. Instead we will take these longer readings and allow them along with the rest of the liturgy to speak directly to us. At the end of the service we will leave in silence. Passion Sunday isn’t over, it carries on into the whole of Passion Week.