Wednesday Word: Dinner Bells

We are not in Holy Week. We are in the last week, the final days, of Lent. But, as any semi-organized clergy will tell you, Holy Week is upon us. That's because this is the week that all of our preparations really kick into high gear. Bulletins get generated, proofed, re-read, and ready to be run. We've looked at the Palm/Passion Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil, and Easter Day services and carefully planned out as many details as possible. Some of those details are obvious, and some come to mind as we are going over the services. Shhh …. here's a secret: if we have done our jobs correctly, Holy Week is actually quiet because the stress and rush came during our preparations the week before.

That doesn't mean I don't stress about things, because I do. But over the years I have learned to take Holy Week in stride, take what it offers me, and see where I might do better next year.

As I said, there are some things that pop into my head that I realize I didn't do quite as good of a job in the run up to Holy Week as I should have. Two of those things this year are Dinner and Bells.

On Maundy Thursday, April 13, we will be holding an agape meal in Trimble Hall beginning at 6 p.m. The Parish Life committee has the menu and will be providing the food. But it occurred to me that I haven't been publicizing this as much as I probably should have. This service will feature a sparse meal, scripture readings, the opportunity to participate in foot washing, the final Eucharist of Holy Week, and the stripping of the altar. One thing that will help the Parish Life committee is if they knew how many people were planning on attending this liturgy; and specifically, how many are planning on being at the meal.

There is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board by the kitchen in Trimble Hall (next to the coffee pots). If you are planning on attending, please, PLEASE sign up. You may either sign up when you are at church this coming Sunday, or you may also call the parish office. This will help immensely in setting up for dinner.

The other thing that popped into my head was bells; specifically, bells at the Easter Vigil. The service will start in the parking lot with the new fire and lighting of the Paschal candle and then process into the church in the darkness. There comes a point in the service when the lights are turned on, altar candles lighted, the long-quieted “Alleluia” is shouted and a joyful noise is made.

You will need to remember two things if you are coming to the Easter Vigil: 1) it begins in the parking lot at 6 a.m., so you will want to arrive around 5:45 a.m.; and 2) bring any bells, noisemakers, or kazoos you may have so that we may welcome that happy morning with as much vigor as we can.

I am looking forward to sharing this most holy time with you, even if I haven't thought of everything.

In this fast-approaching Holy Week, may you contemplate those mighty acts whereby we receive life; may you be moved to tears as you witness the crucifixion; and may you glory in the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.




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