Spring brings my favorite holyday, or should I say week?
I love Holy Week! After the contemplation (something I hope for but never quite attain with four children at home!) of Lent, the extra time in devotionals, prayer, confession, and God's Word, I'm ready (or as ready as I'm gonna be) to walk in Jesus' footsteps during Holy Week.
Palm Sunday isn't Palm Sunday without palms. Pastor Rollo started us off with palms about five years ago, and they've appeared most years. Before Rollo covered the aisle with palms, Palm Sunday was no different from any other Sunday, a fact that drove me crazy! So I'm hoping, even with Pastor Steve out of town, that someone will strew palm fronds around the auditorium. Fingers crossed and hoping hard....
On Wednesday, I hope to attend an instructional Passover Seder with Alpine Anglican. Last year we had one at Lake Murray that was tremendously well done, but this year our pastor and 15 other guys are on a missions trip to Idaho, so no Seder. Rollo had started us off with a Seder a few years ago, and I've found it has become an integral part of my Holy Week remembrances. The symbolism, the Scriptures, the connection between Old and New Covenants, it's all unbelievably memorable.
Maundy Thursday has always been a favorite Holy Week service. This will be the third time I've spent it with Alpine Anglican. The last time that Alpine Anglican had their lovely church building (which they lost when they left the San Diego Episcopal diocese), Father asked me to participate, and it was simply amazing to have my foot washed by the Bishop. I was in tears the whole time -- such a lovely, humble service, and exactly what our Lord commanded us to do. I'm looking forward to this service especially.
In the past, Good Friday has been an on-again, off-again thing at Lake Murray. Last year we had the Seder on Maundy Thursday and therefore no service for Good Friday except for the Biblical Stations of the Cross I set up. I will set up the Stations again this week, to be available Tuesday-Friday during Holy Week in the auditorium at Lake Murray. The year before that, we had a wonderful Good Friday service, complete with nailing our sins to a cross that Keith built; the reverberations of the hammer blows had almost everyone in tears as we heard and felt Jesus' suffering and death for US. Wow -- mindblowing! So last year and again this year, I'm planning on spending Good Friday with the Anglicans, perhaps even the noon ecumenical Stations of which Father Acker is in charge.
This year Lake Murray is having a Good Friday service at God's Extended Hand, the homeless shelter we serve at the first Friday of each month; they're also planning another nailing ceremony as well. But it's awfully far away -- over fifty miles. And I loved the Anglican service last year in Father Acker's dining room as we kissed the feet of the crucifix, remembering how Christ suffered and died for US. So humbling! Again, many tears here, but that's my specialty....
However, I have never attended a Saturday Vigil, and may attend this service with the Anglicans as well. On Easter morning, I would LOVE to attend both Alpine Anglican AND Lake Murray. As there's no Sunday School at Lake Murray, it's perfectly do-able, if Keith agrees. I would love to experience the different ways the Resurrection is celebrated in both churches, liturgical and evangelical. After all, it IS the best celebration in the Church Year, so let's truly CELEBRATE, for He is risen indeed!
Aah, Holy Week! The high point of the Christian Year!