This Sunday is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week in which we enter into the mystery of Jesus love for us and all the world expressed in his Passion. Palm Sunday always feels a little chaotic, jarring – because we begin with the Hosannas and parade of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, and end with the dramatic reading of the Passion narrative. But that is just about right…how quickly the crowds shift their tone, from shouting hooray for Jesus to calling for his crucifixion. There is always some of each in all of us: giving the Lord praise, and turning our backs on him. I pray that each of you will find a new depth of faith and praise this Holy Week as you make time to participate in our worship and practices as we follow Jesus’ final earthly days before his Resurrection.
Please take a look at the announcements below, especially:
- Holy Week Events
- Argyle Fish & Chips (Events)
- Easter Flowers (Worship)
Palm Sunday Worship - Palm Procession at 8 am, starting in front of the Church door; and at 10 am, starting in front of the Parish House door, led by our bagpiper, Bill McEvoy.
Maundy Thursday Agapé Meal, April 13, 6:00 pm. Gather for a simple pot-luck meal, as Jesus and his disciples did, before our Maundy Thursday worship. We’ll be sharing this meal with the Christian (Catholic) Community in the Parish House Lower Room. No desserts, please. Sign up on the sheet in the Narthex. Hope to see you there!
Maundy Thursday Worship, including Foot Washing, 7:30 pm
Our commemoration of Jesus’ Last Supper with the disciples includes foot washing. This action is a symbol of the loving service to others that Jesus calls us to – basic, humble, prayerful, vulnerable. It is part of Maundy Thursday worship in churches all over the world. During the singing of a chant, the congregation is invited to come forward, have one foot washed, and then wash the foot of the person who comes after them, pouring water over the person’s foot and drying it with a towel. This care for one another is deeply moving. Wearing shoes and socks that are easily removable makes this easier.
Prayer Watch, anytime Maundy Thursday night, 8:30 pm to 12 am.
Come and keep watch in the Church with Jesus for thirty minutes on the night of his trials in the Garden of Gethsemane (Altar of Repose with the Reserved Sacrament). Although this is a time for personal prayer and meditation, it is something done on the part of our whole parish community, even if you haven’t been able to attend worship earlier. The watch will conclude at midnight. Sign up for a half hour prayer time on the sheet in the Narthex.
Good Friday - two services: 12 noon intergenerational Stations of the Cross, for kids and adults, & 7:30 pm Good Friday Liturgy, simple music, readings, prayers, and the veneration o the Cross.
Holy Saturday Kids’ Service, Easter Egg Hunt and Ribbon Banner Making – April 15, 10 am. Sign up on the sheet in the Narthex. And we need donations of candy for the eggs, volunteers to provide refreshments, and older kids and adults to make the ribbon banners. Please sign up on the sheet in the Narthex and let us know if your kids will participate and how you can help. Thanks.
The Great Vigil of Easter, Saturday, April 15 at 7:30 pm. We begin in the Memorial Garden – lighting the New Fire (symbol of Christ’s Resurrection) and then process by candlelight into the Church. As the service progresses the lights come up, until we finally reach the Easter acclamation and celebrate the first Eucharist of Easter. The First Party of Easter follows. We need some simple refreshments to continue the best service of the year! Take a look at the sign-up sheet for what we need.
Easter Day – Worship at 8 am & 10 am, with music at both services.
Easter Flowers - If you would like to make a donation for Easter flowers in memory of a loved one or in thanksgiving for a particular blessing, please use the envelopes that were mailed home, or that are found in the pew. Please be sure to include the names of the people being remembered or honored; they will appear in all the Easter bulletins. The deadline for the names is April 10.
Evening Prayer, Mondays, 6 pm in the Church during Lent. Stop in on your way home from work and have a peaceful half hour with God and others.
There is no Thursday 7:00 am Eucharist this week, April 13.
Spring Fish & Chips by Argyle of Kearny, April 27 – 5:30-7:30 pm. This is our spring fund-raiser, and we’ll need a variety of help: setting up tables, decorating, selling tickets, making up plates, serving, working the door, helping with publicity, making desserts & drinks, clean-up. There is a sign-up poster in the Narthex. Tickets will be on sale after Church this Sunday: $18 for adults/$9 for kids. Jackie Sullivan is the person to see with questions or to volunteer.
Pilgrim, a Course for the Christian Journey: will meet Monday night, April 10 at 7 pm in the Rath House.
No Bible Study for the next two weeks, 4/12 & 4/19. We’ve finished the Book of Acts, and we’ll pick up with a new topic on 4/26. Come for friendship, fellowship, and learning.
As you may know, Bishop Beckwith has announced his retirement for September 2018. This means that our diocesan Standing Committee has been working hard to make preparations for the search and election of our new bishop. There will be two committees made up of lay and clergy from each district: the Search/Nominating Committee, and the Transition Committee (helping the new bishop and his or her family with their arrival and settling in). In order to find good representation from across the diocese on these groups, the Standing Committee has asked each district (we are District 3) to meet to nominate 1 lay and 1 clergy person from each district to have his or her name put into a pool of people from which the Standing Committee will select members of the Search/Nominating and Transition Committees. Here is the link to further information: http://dioceseofnewark.org/content/standing-committee-calls-districts-nominate-committee-members.
In order to do that, each parish is asked to send one clergy person and one lay person to the District meeting on Sunday, April 23 at 5 pm at St. Gregory's in Parsipanny, and the district nominations to the committees will come from the people at that meeting.
- If you are interested in being considered for one of those committees, please speak to me, and plan on attending that 4/23 meeting.
- If you don’t want to be considered for Search or Transition, but are willing to represent All Saints’ on 4/23 to choose nominees, please speak to me. We need one lay person to represent us. Thanks. - VGM+
For a full schedule of our buildings check the website calendar www.allsaintsmillington.org.
Blessing of Palms – The practice of blessing palm branches and making some sort of procession at the beginning of worship on Palm Sunday comes from the description in the Gospels of the crowds strewing branches of palm along the route Jesus’s followed into Jerusalem – a first century form of “rolling out the red carpet.”
At the time of the Reformation in the 16th century the reforming religious leaders were very leary about blessing anything – other than the bread and wine of the Eucharist, water in Baptism, or people in various stages of life. So in Protestant churches palm processions fell out of practice. In the mid-19th century, under the influence of the High Church Oxford Movement, blessing palms and holding special processions began to be recovered, and became wide spread in the American Episcopal Church after 1960.
What do we do with our palms? On Palm Sunday, of course, we carry them in our Palm Procession, and it is appropriate to wave them when we sing or say “Hosanna” (which means hooray). After that, keeping a palm cross in your Bible or Prayer Book, or in a place where would meditate and pray is always appropriate. Or you can tuck a few palm branches behind the corner of a picture that has a spiritual meaning for you, or even keep a small arrangement of dried palm throughout the year. The reason to do this is to remind you of Jesus’ kingship and Messiahship. Traditionally, dried palms are then collected and burned on Shrove Tuesday to make the ashes used on Ash Wednesday – a reminder that all earthly power and glory eventually turn to dust and ash.
What reminds you that Jesus is King and Messiah? How does this compare with earthly power and glamor?
This is a link to Jessye Norman singing “Ride on, King Jesus”: https://youtu.be/hUC-0g6C7rA