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Schedule and Links for Palm Sunday, April 5
*We need 100 parishioner households to help with Holy Week! If you are willing to film yourself and share a short video to support our Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday worship, please contact Marissa Hall at email@example.com. To keep these offerings a surprise to the broader parish, we will share details and the simple instructions once we have heard from you. We hope to include first those who have not yet been “on-screen” during this Worship From Home season.
At-A-Glance: Palm Sunday, April 5
8:30 a.m. Children’s Church School with Cathy Portlock Pacitto and Sarah Neumann
9:00 a.m. Community Hour with Trinity Church staff
9:00 a.m. Liturgy of the Palms Livestream I
9:20 a.m. Liturgy of the Palms Livestream II
11:00 a.m. Community Hour with Trinity Church staff
11:30 a.m. Youth Sunday School with Sarah Neumann and Youth Mentors
6:15 p.m. Community Hour with Trinity Church staff
Dear Trinity Church and friends,
Grace and Peace to you this Friday. I hope this message finds you and those you love taking care and feeling well.
In search of words to describe the experience of this social-distancing season, I rooted around the etymologies of “journey” and “pilgrimage.” I discovered “journey” derives from the French journée, meaning “a routine,” a “day’s work or travel” (recognize its common root in “journal”), and I learned that we inherit the tripartite “pilgrimage” from the Latin: per, meaning “beyond;” agri, meaning “country;” and aticum, meaning “belonging to.” Collectively, then, “pilgrimage” connotes an event belonging to an experience “beyond one’s home,” intimating the expected trials of such an endeavor: getting lost, feeling alien, and worrying about what the next bend in the road will bring.
Though we are necessarily staying physically at our homes, little remains routine about any of our lives during this strange time. The spirit of our experience, then, is one of pilgrimage, rather than journey, an experience “beyond” what is familiar, even as our setting remains static. Ours is a kind of “pilgrimage-in-place” on an untraveled road, of an unknown length, to an unclear destination.
If we understand ourselves on a pilgrimage, we can also benefit from resisting the idea that we are independent travelers, and, instead, see ourselves as interdependent pilgrims – mutually supported by, and mutually supporting of, all those with whom we share this odd experience. If bound together, we can recognize our need of God and one another and seek to relent of our prideful notions of self-sufficiency. If bound together, we can receive our trials as moments to be formed and reformed, as occasions to discover God’s Grace. If bound together, we can refuse to be defined by a moment’s despair, and, instead, define ourselves by God’s hopes.
This Sunday, our pilgrimage will continue with Palm Sunday and the beginning of a Holy Week passage that will be at once familiar and new.
For Palm Sunday’s traditional “Liturgy of the Palms,” the rubrics of our Book of Common Prayer invite: “When circumstances permit, the congregation may gather at a place apart from the church, so that all may go into the church in procession. The branches of palm or other trees or shrubs to be carried in the procession may be distributed to the people before service, or after the prayer of blessing.”
Given that we – by necessity – will “gather at a place apart from the church,” we invite worshipers to snap a leaf or branch from a plant inside or outside their home, and to join us in a livestream of prayer and scripture reading. In the Zoom platform, bring your greenery and join us at either 9:00 or 9:20. Links to this live worship may be found above. Please note that because of space limits, we are hosting two of these liturgies. Even so, the framework of the worship will be the same at both times, and all need attend only one.
Our 9:45 a.m. Morning Prayer will then feature a special reading of the Passion Gospel, and following the service, we invite everyone to pin their branches to the front door of their home (whether on its interior or exterior); to take a photograph; to post it to social media with #BeingTrinityChurch; and to email your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to assemble a collage of our doors that we will share with the parish during Easter.
Cathy Portlock Pacitto, our Director of Children’s Ministry, will lead a Church School lesson via Zoom at 8:30 a.m. Families should have received an email from Cathy with the link to join the Zoom meeting. If you have not received the link, please reach out to Cathy at email@example.com.
Then, at 11:30 a.m, Sarah Neumann, our Youth and Young Adult Minister, will Zoom it up with our youth and their Mentors. Youth and their parents should have received an email from Sarah with the link to join the Zoom meeting. If you have not received the link, please reach out to Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, the Rev. Bill Rich, will lead via Zoom our 7 p.m. adult Forum – an introduction of C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce. Bill and I share a common affection for Lewis’ novella, and I will join him as he reads the book aloud over the course of several evenings. Monday-Wednesday of Holy Week, these read-alouds will begin at 7 p.m. Following about 45 minutes of reading, we will spend a short time in facilitated reflection on what we have heard. This timing will allow us to conclude before our final three Compline services of Lent, the gathering for which starts at 8:15 p.m, with the formal prayers beginning at 8:30 p.m. The final Great Divorce reading will follow our Maundy Thursday worship.
Community Hours – which were wonderful last week! – will continue this Sunday at the same times: 9 a.m; 11 a.m; and 6:15 p.m. After gathering in the large group, we will break out into smaller “meeting rooms” to make room for the participation of more voices. Grab your cup of coffee and join us! Links and times for each of these fellowship events may be found at the top of this message.
As we pilgrims-in-place continue on this new path and ready for our turn toward Jerusalem, the Cross, and the empty tomb, I hope you will join us for all the Holy Week opportunities of Trinity Church. We will share more details about worship plans for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Eve, and Easter Sunday, in a Monday message like this one.
I look forward to seeing you this Sunday!
The Rev. Morgan S. Allen