Writing sermons and conducting worship services are the hallmarks of Holy Week for a priest. This year, I zealously wrote twelve (12) sermons which were preached on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Day – what a feat! The sermons were prepared for the following services:
Maundy Thursday: The Celebration of the Eucharist, with Foot Washing, the Stripping of the Altar, and the Watch (7:00 p.m.);
Good Friday: Three-Hour Devotion Service on the Seven Last Words of Jesus on the Cross (12:00 noon – 3:00 p.m.) and the Living Stations (7:00 p.m.), a dramatization of the road to Calvary;
Easter Sunday: Three celebrations of the Holy Eucharist (6:00 a.m., 8:00 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.).
In addition to scribing and preaching sermons, and conducting services, there was a hive of activity taking place in the Church Office in preparation for these services. The Church Office staff was busily preparing and printing bulletins for all of these services while at the same time ensuring that all those involved were aware of their responsibilities. The members of the Altar Guild were energetically setting up the “Garden” in the Narthex where the Altar of Repose would be situated and in which the Watch will be observed. In the meantime, I attended the Chrism Mass in Trinity Cathedral, Miami, on Tuesday in Holy Week, at which I renewed my Ordination vows and received my holy oils, engaged in a number of pastoral duties, hosted a friend from St. Louis, Missouri, overnight, and welcomed the arrival of my brother, Hugh, on Good Friday for the primary purpose of staying with our children while we were on vacation.
All in all, Holy Week and Easter Day services and activities were joyous, blessed, and without a hitch.