Church of Our Saviour

21 Marathon Street | Arlington, Massachusetts | 781-648-5962

Reflections of Your Rector

A couple days ago, we passed the halfway point in Lent. How is Lent going for you? What has your relationship with God been like lately?

No matter what Lent has been like for us so far, no matter how busy we’ve been, we have the opportunity to begin again.

You may want to start thinking now about scheduling Holy Week services on your calendar. Church of Our Saviour offers a week of services that take us step-by-step through Christ’s final days leading up to the resurrection.

We celebrate Palm Sunday at 10 a.m. on Sunday, March 24. We will gather in the garden to receive palms, and await the arrival of a live donkey. Recalling Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a donkey, we will walk with neighbors from Trinity Baptist up Massachusetts Ave, where we will meet our neighbors from Calvary Methodist. Our worship returns to Church of Our Saviour and ends with members of the congregation taking parts in reading the story of Jesus’ passion.

We remember Jesus’ Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, March 28, at 7:30 p.m. As we remember how Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, we will offer anyone who wishes the opportunity to have their feet washed. After remembering Jesus’ Last Supper at Communion, we prepare for his death by ritually stripping all ornaments from the from the sanctuary. The service ends with recalling Jesus’ intense time of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. Those who wish may stay until 9:30 p.m. to “watch and pray” with Jesus in silent meditation.

We offer a Good Friday service at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 29. We hear the story of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion and offer prayers for the needs of the world. Using a cross made of icons, there will be an invitation to write down a prayer or burden and lay it at Jesus’ feet as we ponder the mysterious gift of the cross. In addition, Sunday School families are invited to meet with me at 5:30 pm for Good Friday reflections based on Godly Play.

The Great Vigil of Easter begins at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 30. As twilight descends, we will kindle a fire in our garden. (The prayers collected on Good Friday will be placed in the fire and silently offered to God.) We will use this fire to light the Paschal Candle as we chant an ancient hymn of Christ’s victory over death. Returning to the church, we then gather in a circle around the candle, like ancient people gathered around a campfire, to tell the stories of God’s saving acts throughout history. We then ring bells and shout “Alleluia” for the first time since Ash Wednesday. As the organ
swells and lights grow brighter, we will “resurrect” the silk Alleluia banner that has lain buried in the high altar throughout Lent. The service ends with Communion and joyful hymns.

There will be two Easter services on Sunday, March 31, at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. All the senses will be fully engaged as we listen to special music with brass instruments, inhale the fragrance of lilies, and taste the love of Christ at Communion.

Easter is so much more powerful after experiencing the emotional roller coaster of Holy Week. I hope you will attend as many of these services as possible. May you continue to have a blessed and Holy Lent.

Yours in Christ,

Malia

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