Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Lent, also known as Laetere Sunday or Rejoice Sunday. This Sunday is considered a day of relaxation from normal Lenten rigors; a day of hope with Easter at last within sight. If we had pink vestments, we would wear them on Sunday.
It is a sign that we are more than halfway through Lent, which means that Holy Week is coming fast. I am really excited to observe Holy Week with you all this year, and I hope you will join us for Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday. The liturgies are designed to work together to mark this most holy time of the year.
We have posted the signup sheet for the All Night Watch. After the Maundy Thursday service (April 14 at 7 p.m.), we will take the reserve sacrament into the chapel, and people are invited to pray throughout the night. After the Last Supper, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. While his disciples accompanied him, they fell asleep. In response to Jesus’ question ‘So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ (Matthew 26:40) we sign up to pray for an hour throughout the night. The chapel door into the sacristy (on the north side of the building) will be left unlocked.
Of all the services of holy week, Easter Vigil is often described as the Queen of Liturgies. It is one of our most ancient services, and we begin in candlelit darkness as we retell the stories of God’s saving acts in history. This year we will hold the service at St. Mary’s (Saturday, April 16 at 7 p.m.). I hope you will join us to see the beauty and meaning of this wonderful liturgy as we transition from a world where Jesus has died for us, to a world where he is risen and will never die again. While the service can stretch quite long, we have worked to keep it just over an hour.
You have two more Sundays to sign up for Easter Flowers! If you would like to include memorials or thanksgivings in the bulletin, please fill out an Easter flower form (found in the Narthex) and place it in the offering plate.
Finally, mark your calendars! Our annual Bike Blessing is Saturday, May 7 at 10 a.m. If it has wheels, I will bless it! I hope you invite your friends and family and bring your wheeled transportations to St. Mary’s on May 7!
Prayers and Blessings,