Almighty, God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death, and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life; We humbly beseech thee that, as by thy special grace preventing us thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect; through* Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
– Book of Common Prayer, 1928
This past Holy Week and Easter was jammed packed and quite reflective. It was quite busy (as it is for all clergy) and marked both a beginning and an end point in my life’s journey.
While walking in downtown Boston, I passed by King’s Chapel where a sign stated that a service will begin in an hour. After completing whatever task I had to complete, I attended their service. It was interesting to say the least. King’s Cross is technically the first Anglican church in New England, during the reign of King James II (yes, that King James on your Bible). After some time, the church altered its identity. It is now, and have been for some time, Unitarian Universalist in theology, Congregational in polity and Anglican in worship. With that said, it was different but not foreign. Although I do not align with King’s Chapel theologically, they were warm, friendly and an expression of Christianity that is quite positive.
King’s Chapel Bulletin
It began with me attending Maundy Thursday service at my (being where I live, not where I serve) parish church, the Parish of All Saints, Ashmont. Ironically enough, I participated in the foot washing ceremony! The Rector greeted me as a I walked in and asked me if I wanted to take part; I responded in the affirmative! It was a humbling experience having a clergy colleague and friend wash my feet. Also, the stripping of the altars took place, which was done with great reverence and precision. As the lights went out (symbolizing the capture and removal of Jesus of Nazareth), the parishioners exited without fanfare, although it was quite dark. Below are a couple of pictures:
In the early hours of the morning, I attended Watch night for an hour. Watch night is the act of being in the presence of the Lord via the Reserved Sacrament that is the Body of Christ. One literally sits in a dimly lit chapel, for an hour, reflecting on their lives in Christ. This is reminiscent of the disciples waiting for Jesus as he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane in the Gospel of Saint Matthew 26.36-46.
That afternoon, I preached what would be my last sermon at my (as in where I serve) parish, Anglican Church of the Redeemer, Norwood. It was bitter-sweet. It is bitter because there is so much more I wanted to do. It is sweet because I know that both the parish and I ended on a good note. Good being defined as them being uplifted spiritually from the sermon, despite being emotionally sad, due to the content and circumstances.
Later that evening, my family and I attended Good Friday service. It was beautiful as always. The Priest-in-Charge of the church my wife attended when I deployed, preached. She was very happy. Below are a couple of pictures.
Easter was jammed packed! I celebrated the Easter Day Eucharist at Redeemer – Norwood while my colleague preached the homily. I then rushed back to Boston to grab my family to head to one of my friend’s church; St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Dorchester. After service, my little one was able to participate in an Easter Egg Hunt. I’m very thankful it did not turn out like the one at the Pez Headquarters. Later that evening, I watched His Holiness, the Vicar of Christ, Pope Francis’ Easter Mass and Urbi et Orbi. Overall, a blessed, and quite reflective weekend.
Bulletin from Redeemer, Norwood
Fr. J presiding over the Eucharist at St. Mary’s Dorchester
Start at the 2:00:00 mark.
PS: I do want to make mention, three people who have had an impact on my life due to their work in their respective fields died during Holy Week. They all exhibited the ability to take a high risk in their fields, despite the common sentiment at the time.
For Mother Angelica, starting EWTN and an interracial convent in the South was a risk. Malik Taylor, to be a rapper in a group (A Tribe Called Quest) whose primary message was Black uplift with jazz infused music during the 1990s, despite pressure for a more aggressive sound from their record label, was a huge risk.Garry Shandling’s creative vision changed the way sitcoms are presented to the public. It has been noted that without The Larry Sanders Show, there would not be a Curb Your Enthusiasm, 30 Rock, or The Office (both the American and British versions). To go against the common norm of a sketch comedy show was a risk for Shandling.
Please remember to keep their families in prayer.