Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week. This week we call to mind the unconditional love of Jesus who gave his life for us. Commemorating the events that led to our salvation, we set our sights on celebrating the Lord’s’ victory over sin and death on Easter Sunday.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, one might ask how the week ahead could possibly be holy, given the suffering, fear, uncertainty and isolation this crisis has caused during the past year? The answer is to respond to our baptismal call to holiness. This week gives us the opportunity to respond to that call in concrete ways by making Holy Week holy.
How might we make this Holy Week holy? By continuing our Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and giving to others. This week, let’s take with us family, friends, doctors, nurses, patients with the virus and families of those mourning those who have died. Let’s pray more than ever. Pray the rosary with those in our homes. Name out loud people we are remembering in prayer. Let’s sing holy songs of praise and hope. Let’s make a space for an in-home altar, a special place where we put a Bible, a candle, a statue of Mary or of a saint, some flowers, photos, or art, all calling us to connect with Jesus and each other. Including a statue or image of St. Joseph would be most fitting during this year of St. Joseph.
As our churches are gradually opening again, some might be able to plan time to attend the special services this week. The beautiful Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday, the great Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night, Mass on Easter Sunday. Because of the limited capacity we are allowed for indoor services or for health reasons, some may want to plan to view these Sacred Liturgies livestream via the internet.
Holy Week is a gift that is much needed at this time. Together, let’s make it different from other weeks through the special ways we invite a bit of holiness into our lives and the lives of others. As we still have challenging times ahead of us, what a great opportunity we have to face the future with courage and hope because we made this Holy Week holy.
Together in faith,
Very Rev. Christopher Smith, Rector