Sunday, March 28, Palm Sunday
Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Sunday, March 28 is Palm Sunday. Find the readings here.
Dear Friends in Christ,
This week’s worship video is now available:
As you'll see noted in the video, all elements of this service were recorded prior to the mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado. My longtime friend Mtr. Mary Kate Rejouis is the Rector of Saint Ambrose, Boulder. She and Bishop of Colorado Kym Lucas are quoted in this article, which also includes prayers and links to relevant resources. Being closer to the horrifying situation, they are better people to listen to on this than I am. But I add my prayers to theirs and those of Christians the world over.
For today's video, to get the full experience, I encourage you to have a palm, a branch, or some piece of greenery ready for the blessing. Mark recommends "a frond of forsythia, or a daffodil, or other sign of spring life." But just like the crowd on the original Palm Sunday, we'll all work with whatever we can get our hands on. Mark also suggested using images from past Palm Sundays at Saint John's, which I was happy to add to the video. The exception is an image of the Holy Face of Lucca, which I thought just looked right for the conclusion of the Passion, and turns out to be the subject of many colorful legends.
Like last year, instead of Morning Prayer, today's service follows the order of "Ante-Communion." As the name suggests, this is the parts of the Communion service before the Eucharistic Prayer, but without a celebration of the Eucharist. Instead, we'll skip from the Prayers of the People to the Lord's Prayer. We're doing it this way because the Liturgy of the Palms is designed to flow into a Communion service.
Ante-Communion was once a familiar practice for Anglicans before Anglo-Catholics succeeded in restoring the Eucharist as "the principal act of Christian worship on the Lord’s Day and other major Feasts" in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer (p. 13). Now a liturgical curiosity, Ante-Communion remains permitted by the rubrics (pp. 406-7). Good thing, now that we have a reason to use it!
Please join us for coffee hour at noon:
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Here are Mark's music notes:
Although there’s probably more Christmas music than Holy Week and Easter music, the passion themes are very compelling and the musical material is very rich. So it is difficult to choose, especially for our musical forces must be different this year (as last year too). So we’ve focused on the seemingly “obligatory” hymns: “All Glory Laud and Honor” and “O Sacred Head, Sore Wounded.” We’ve also experimented with some untried (for us, at least) styles including the short German motet “Hosianna dem Sohne David” which we’re also singing alternating between a quartet and the full chorus, a common style that made it to Germany from the Venetian traditions emanating from San Marco led by composers Gabrielli and Monteverdi. We’re also featuring collaborations between Anne Bourne & Mark Nelson singing a Renaissance motet and Carol McKenzie and David Oliver singing new music to a familiar passiontide text “Wondrous Love.” The closing Voluntary is Bach’s organ setting of the final hymn (the harmonizations are also by Bach), “O Sacred Head.”