by Janet Steele
Dear fellow parishioners,
As we enter Lent and begin preparing for Holy Week this year, I would like to share some thoughts I had about Holy Week last year in 2016:
Knowing that this was Sylvia's+ first Lent, Holy Week and Easter with us, I did not have a clue what to expect. I can only say that I was completely blown away by it all!
The Seder that Don and Susan gift us with every year was as beautiful and meaningful as ever. I find that it grounds me in our Jewish roots and helps me reflect on things in the far past that are still alive today for us.
The Maundy Thursday service was absolutely beautiful. It blended our traditional Canterbury customs with Sylvia's+ energetic sense of liturgy and became a service that was reflective and deeply satisfying. Our musicians did a fantastic job of including old and young and people from our various services who all came together to provide music for us without taking anything away from the always magnificent offerings that Edwina does. The stripping of the altar was done in reflective silence as part of the service, which made its impact even more profound and beautiful. Jesus really did leave the supper and the garden and went away!
I attended the three hour service for Good Friday and came away with the deepest sense of the meaning of Good Friday without feeling that my emotions were played with or falsely engaged. The meditations were totally authentic and were so true to the people offering them. The one chant which we used and repeated with every meditation set a tone that included us in the mystery. The lonely and hauntingly beautiful flute called us from our personal spaces to become one with the group again. My only regret was that more people were not present for it all. I kept thinking how great it would be if everyone in the parish had been there to witness and experience this beautiful afternoon which revealed so much about our God and the people following God.
I hope that we will see again this year the beautiful stations of the cross made by Ruth Meredith and fellow parishioners. They join our beloved stations of the cross in the nave to tell the old story of the crucifixion and the story that is ongoing in the world today.
I hope you'll make every effort to participate in the Seder and ALL our Holy Week services this year. I think you will be truly amazed at how much more meaningful Easter Sunday will be for you and for all of us if we spend these services in prayer with one another.