Grace Notes

VOLUME 2, NUMBER 21, APRIL 17, 2011

Holy Week—The Center of the Prayer Book and of Our Lives
Holy Week is here. The center of our Prayer Book, of the Church year, of our lives as Christians, Holy Week celebrates the culmination of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. Palm Sunday, the Easter Triduum (three days), and Easter Sunday celebrate the Passover (Pascha) of the Lord from death to life.

This Sunday is Palm Sunday, the day in which we celebrate Christ's being hailed as King by the crowds as we enact his entrance into Jerusalem and then discover what God's idea of a true King is in the Passion of Our Lord.

Thursday evening begins the Paschal Triduum, that great and sacred liturgy which takes place over three days. It begins in the Upper Room and ends in a tomb wherein Christ rises from the dead. Some of the most ancient rites of the Christian community are observed these three days.

On Thursday, the entire assembly is invited to participate in the Washing of Feet (wear appropriate footwear if you intend to participate), bread and wine are consecrated for the ministration of Holy Communion both Thursday and during the Liturgy of Good Friday, following the Transfer of the Eucharist to the Altar of Repose, the altar and sanctuary are stripped of all ornament and furnishing, and silence is observed. Following the Mass, the Watch before the Blessed Sacrament is observed until the Celebration of the Passion of the Lord on Good Friday. You are invited to join in the watch before the Holy Sacrament as you are able. The Church will remain open throughout the night for this purpose.

On Friday the liturgy begins with the priest prostrate and the people kneeling before the altar. Following the liturgy of the Word and the preaching of the Gospel, the Church offers her intercessions on behalf of the world as the Body of Christ, the great High Priest, in a form used by the ancient Church at every liturgy but now only used on Good Friday. Then we are invited to participate in the Veneration of the Cross and to make that cross our own. Finally we receive Holy Communion from the Sacrament consecrated last night at the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper. The choruses for the Passion are by Tomas Luis de Victoria.

On Saturday we begin in the dark, awaiting the light, which proclaims the resurrection (it was a big fire last year—but you ain't seen nothin' yet). Then we share that light. The ceremonies of this night are about an old Adam and a new Adam, about death and life. We will renew our baptismal vows at the Great Vigil this year and remember that we are the people who have died and been raised with Christ in the waters of baptism and who even now have begun to share in his divine life.

Many parishes will celebrate just Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. Others will celebrate those and add a celebration on Maundy Thursday and/or Good Friday (or some version of their celebration—maybe most problematic, the replacement of the proper liturgy of Good Friday with the stations of the cross). Even today, a great many parishes will not celebrate the Great Vigil of Easter, THE great celebration of the Church year. We have special reason to be grateful at this time of year—Grace Church's celebrates all of these and our celebration of this week is particularly rich. It is one of the great examples of how we worship beyond our means. And that is a good thing, because everything we do in worship on Sundays, every celebration of the sacraments of Holy Eucharist and of Holy Baptism, and everything we do in our lives as the Church find their meaning and source in what we celebrate this week.

The central Christian belief is that Jesus was crucified and he rose from the dead. In the liturgical tradition of the Church this is not a past or abstract reality. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is remembered and made present in our worship and in our common life. “Jesus Christ, yesterday and today, the Beginning and the End, Alpha and Omega. His are all times and all ages. To him be glory and dominion through all eternity.” This week we are given the opportunity to move into this reality in a particularly rich way. Come. Celebrate the life Christ has won for us.

--Father Rhodes

NURSERY CARE... Nursery care is available during the 10am service. Our nursery care giver, Vickie Luppino, welcomes children to stay with her during any part of the Mass.

VISITORS... If you are visiting us for the first time (or the first time in a while), we are happy that the Holy Spirit led you here and honored by your presence. Please fill out a pew card and drop it in the collection basket or give it to an usher or member of the clergy as you leave the nave and please also sign our Visitor Register in the narthex (entryway) following the Mass. You are strongly invited to stay for fellowship and coffee downstairs following the 10am Mass.

CHILDREN'S ACTIVITY SHEETS... There are activity sheets and crayons for young people on the table in the narthex. Each week, Kidsword sheets focus on the gospel of the day, and have games and puzzles to teach the stories. Please take one!

EASTER FLOWER MEMORIALS... Envelopes are available in the narthex for Easter flower memorials. Please return to the church office by TODAY. Checks may be made payable to Grace Church Altar Guild.

WATCH AT THE ALTAR OF REPOSE... A sign up sheet is in the narthex for the watch through the night on Maundy Thursday, April 21 through Good Friday at noon.

GOOD FRIDAY WALK OF FAITH... The Westwood Clergy Council will sponsor a community Walk of Faith, beginning here at Grace Church at 12 Noon on Good Friday, April 22. The walk then proceeds to several of the other churches in town, concluding at 3 PM.

WESTWOOD HERITAGE DAY... Grace Church will be participating in Westwood Heritage Day on Sunday May 22nd. This is a great opportunity to introduce ourselves to the community. WE NEED VOLUNTEERS. Please talk to Debbi about volunteering for set-up, clean-up, and/or manning the table for some period of time. WE ALSO NEED DONATIONS. Please bring new items we can sell at the table to raise money. You can bring your donations in at any time from now until May 21st and give them to Febbi. Any questions please email or call Debbi. THANKS!!!

GRACE DOVES SOFTBALL... We are currently planning the 2011 PVCSL season and need to determine if there is sufficient interest to field a Grace Church team this year. The season will likely take place on 6 or 7 Sunday afternoons in May and June. While intended primarily for men and women 25 and above, we are allowed a number of younger players. If you would like to play, please speak with Tom Bisdale.

DONATE TO FOOD FOR FRIENDS... St. Paul's Community Development Corporation Food Pantry in Paterson especially welcomes high protein items, such as beans and canned meats. Alternatively checks may be drawn in favor of St. Paul's CDC and marked Food Pantry. Please send checks directly to St. Paul's at 451 Van Houten Street, Paterson, NJ 07501 Thank you.

The Paschal Triduum
at Grace Church

Maundy Thursday - April 21, 8:00 pm
The Mass of the Lord's Supper
with Foot Washing, Stripping of the Altar
and Reservation of the Sacrament on the Altar of Repose

Good Friday - April 22, 8:00 pm
Proper Liturgy of Good Friday
with Veneration of the Cross
and Communion from the Reserved Sacrament

The Great Vigil of Easter - April 23, 8:00 pm
Lighting of the Great Fire, the Blessing of the Paschal Candle,
Holy Baptism (or the renewal of Baptismal vows) and
the First Holy Eucharist of Easter

Ministers of the Assembly

April 17April 24
MP Officiant and LEM (8 am)Charles KeilAndy Smethurst
Lay EucharisticLeslie BisdaleTheresa Peter
Ministers (10 am)Tom BisdaleEvans Roache
LectorBill HafemannMack Harrell
Intercessor (Prayers)Larry ToppinDaisy Toppin
Chief ServerDebbi GellerWarren Hirstius
AcolytesTyler MarshallJustin Hirstius
Dylan MarshallRebecca Bisdale
ThuriferBen MartinEvans Roache
UshersJim ClokeMickey Hafemann
Pat LandiBill Hafemann
CountersCharles KeilLarry Sunden
Cookie SmethurstRandy Scott
Altar GuildDaisy ToppinPat Landi
Leslie BisdaleChris Scott
Coffee HourChris ScottNancy Sobeck
Randy ScottUna Thomas