Holy Week began April 9 with Palm Sunday and continued with Maundy Thursday on the 13th, which commemorates the Last Supper when Jesus served the bread & wine and gave the mandate (Maundy is another form of this word) to “This do in remembrance of me” and so established Holy Communion. The next day, Good Friday, commemorates Jesus’s crucifixion and we held our traditional service with the Stations of the Cross, which traces His journey to the cross, followed by the Good Friday liturgy. Easter Sunday, resurrection day, was gloomy & dark outside but inside St. Francis was full of light & joy with all the altar candles lit as well as the Christ candle which stands alone & separate. During the austerity of Lent we have no altar flowers but today we have not only altar flowers but also the traditional Easter Lillies flanking the altar. They were given in memory of Fr. Lew & Nimmie Heigham, Luis Velez, Blanche Mergenthal, Jane Elise Shirley, and Cheryl Ryan. During prayertime, Bishop Hartley said the birthday prayer for himself & Rudy Sasko and for Carrie Compton who all have birthdays this week.
Bishop Hartley based his sermon on the Epistle for the day, Colossians 3;1 “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” Here St. Paul challenges us to understand what Jesus did & what it means for us; His life, death & resurrection are a turning point in history after which nothing was the same. The age for which Israel had longed arrived at this time. Through Jesus we are saved by grace & we must place our hope in what God has done for us. Jesus showed God’s commitment to His people & ended the power of death.
After the service we held our usual coffee hour & today had birthday cake & ice cream in honor of Glen, Rudy, & Carrie. Yesterday I had my first (and probably last) phone call from China when our acolyte John called from China where he is spending time in relation to his job in order to wish us a happy Easter and say he his doing well and will be back in about ten days.
For information on St. Francis Anglican (Traditional Episcopal) Church visit our website at stfrancisavamo.org.