Palm Sunday begins one of the most sacred times in our tradition: Holy Week. All of our preparation, prayers, learning and discipline over the season of Lent serves to prepare us to get close to this week: this mystery that is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, God-with-us.

Early on in Christian tradition, the mothers and fathers of the church decided that we would mark our time each year by remembering the life of Jesus in our church calendar. During Holy Week we follow Jesus through the last week of his life. We do this in the ways that we worship, meditate, pray, and share meals together. It begins with Palm Sunday, remembering both the joyous entry of the King of Peace into Jerusalem and all that followed during that week. We continue our journey on Maundy Thursday, following in Jesus’ footsteps by sharing a meal together, and celebrating a Eucharist that includes footwashing. On Good Friday we come together in front of the cross, to confront and meditate on the death of Jesus. And then, in the most ancient liturgy of our tradition, we hold Vigil on Saturday night or early Sunday morning: a liturgy of darkness and light, a time to baptize new Christians, and the first glorious Eucharist of Easter.

We go on this journey together, beginning this Sunday. All are encouraged to come to Holy Week services if they can. And know, that when some of us gather to pray, all of us are praying – even those not present. Holy Week is our opportunity to get as close as we can to Jesus, the Jesus we have been seeking all throughout Lent, and to walk with him through his death and resurrection. This is our hope incarnate, this is a week that shapes all of us as we practice our faith, and walk the journey of believing, together.

The Rev. Canon Alissa Newton

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