Well, the Clergy Superbowl is almost upon us, and so, I offer up this Friday Five (with apologies for the irreverent title):
1. Will this Sunday be Palms only, Passion only, or hyphenated?
At St. Thomas' Episcopal Parish, Hancock, MD2. Maundy Thursday Footwashing: Discuss.
Blessing of the Palms and Holy Eucharist Rite I at 7:30 am
The Liturgy of the Palm Sunday and Holy Eucharist Rite II at 10:00 am with Dramatic Reading of the Passion According to St. Luke.
We can't just do anything without a sufficiently long title in the Episcopal Church! I've been assigned the role of Jesus for the dramatic reading - pretty out-of-the-box for rural Western Maryland!
Yes, we do it in a limited way at my internship site. The clergy (and "almost clergy") will wash the feet of two members of the congregation.3. Share a particularly meaningful Good Friday worship experience.
I remember the first time my children did this, though, at another church. Our oldest daughter was 8 and the youngest 4. They insisted on washing each other's feet. The "mom" in me gave them the short "talk" about how this was serious and not to mess around up there. Well, they didn't ... and took it very serious and reverently - brought tears to my eyes.
Veneration of the Cross has always been a very powerful thing for me. Yes, that pegs me as an Anglo-Catholic type - guilty as charged!4. Easter Sunrise Services--choose one:
a) "Resurrection tradition par excellence!"
b) "Eh. As long as it's sunrise with coffee, I can live with it."
c) "[Yawn] Can't Jesus stay in the tomb just five more minutes, Mom?!?"
I'd vote (b) if we did sunrise services - but we don't. We follow the regular Sunday schedule ... but for me that means getting up and on the road at 6:30 am anyway to make it to Hancock MD by 7:30!5. Complete this sentence: It just isn't Easter without...
Alleluias! all over the place ...Bonus: Any Easter Vigil aficionados out there? Please share.
Most definitely! Easter Vigil was reintroduced in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer and I love it!! Last year, I went to the Easter Vigil at Saints Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church (which last year was one week later). I got there at 9 pm ... and the place was PACKED. At 11:55, all the candles were extinguished and the nave was in total darkness - until the curtain over the Royal Gates was pulled back to show the light on the altar from which everyone's candles would be lit. With candles lit, we processed out chanting "Christ has risen from the dead!" (in Greek, of course ... so thankful that I learned this from the Lutherans!). We went out on the front lawn for a short reading of the resurrection Gospel narrative - and then they rang the bells and we chanted some more. Then back into the church for the Eucharist. I didn't get home until 3 am. Because of that awesome and mystery filled experience, I have little patience for Episcopalians who whine about how loooooong the Easter Vigil services is! When they do, I usually respond, "Really? You ought to join me for the Orthodox Vigil ... it lasts all night with a party until dawn!" I don't usually get any takers on that.
On Easter Tuesday, our diocesan bishop will retire, and his last Easter Vigil will be at St. John's Episcopal in Hagerstown. I get to be subdeacon (woo hoo!) ... for the last time before I'm ordained in June.