Full Sorrow, Full Joy: Lent 2017

Lent, 2017

“…and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

Matthew 28:20b KJV

My Dear Parish Family,

As we journey together through Lent as the body of Christ, we are mindful that the cross finds all its meaning in the Resurrection. Jesus was crucified by all that is evil in the world, and his crucifixion serves as a penetrating and painful reminder that, in our sinfulness, we in some mysterious way participate in that disturbingly evil and gruesome moment in time. But we are also mindful that, as monstrous as that moment was, it would be so meaningless as to be utterly unknown if it weren’t for the Resurrection. It is impossible to experience the full joy of Easter Day without experiencing the full sorrow of Good Friday.

It is my sincere hope that all we do in St. John’s during Lent will serve to deepen your experience of the cross and heighten your joy on Easter Day. Our Wednesday Nights in Lent series helps prepare us for Holy Week as we examine the paradox of evil in God’s created order – the evil that led to the cross.

Our Holy Week liturgies offer the shared experience of the indivisible mystery of the suffering, death, and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  On Wednesday in Holy Week, we will move together around the church, praying and reflecting on each of fourteen beautiful new stations of the cross. The Maundy Thursday service awakens our memory of Christ’s command that we love and serve one another and commemorates the institution of the Holy Eucharist at the last supper. There will be four opportunities for worship on Good Friday. All are deeply moving, and the noon service with the Choir of St. John’s is especially so. On Holy Saturday, we will gather for the Great Vigil and the first Easter celebration of the Holy Eucharist. I hope you will join us for these services as we become a part of the indivisible mystery that is the essence of our faith.

I pray that Holy Week will be a time of deepening faith in Christ culminating in the extraordinary joy that is ours in his Resurrection. God bless you.

                                                                                    Yours in Christ,

The Very Rev. Charles E. Connelly, Rector