LOGO angelican
April 2012
Vol 4 Issue 8

Practicing Month to Month
A Newsletter of the Spiritual Enrichment Committee
Welcome to our Spiritual Practices E-Newsletter  

Dear friends,


Since September the Spiritual Practice we have been focussing on is prayer. Today, Palm Sunday, as we begin Holy Week, we enter the most important period of both private and public prayer in the Christian tradition. Yes, Santa Claus tends to outrank the Easter Bunny but make not mistake, Easter, not Christmas, is the most important feast.

However, the thing about Easter is that you simply can't get to it without Palm Sunday, without Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.   Those three days are called the triduum and are the most intense and important days of prayer for us as Christians.


The triduum begins Maundy Thursday as we come together to re-enact the Last Supper. We share the bread and the wine, we wash one another's feet. Having done all that we darken the sanctuary and strip the altar and remove all the decorations.   We leave the darkened empty church in silence remembering how, after Jesus' betrayal, his disciples simply fled into the night.


Holy Thursday marks the crossover point between life and death for Jesus and it is an invitation to all of us to prayerfully mark this crossover. As Joan Chittester says in her book, The Liturgical Year, "Holy Thursday is, indeed, a study in mixed emotions. . . It is the sudden and intersecting experience of loss and gain, of joy and sorrow, of the tension between life and death - all of them at the same time."


Good Friday we come back, again in silence, to our emptied sanctuary. It is the saddest and most sombre day of the liturgical year. We listen to the last words of Jesus as he hung on the cross and we come, ourselves, to kneel at the foot of the cross in prayer, in confusion, and in adoration. We ask God to give us the strength to wait.


While Holy Saturday is often the forgotten or overlooked day of the triduum, it is an important day. Anyone who has suffered a great loss knows the Holy Saturday experience. Holy Saturday we wait - not sure what to do next. Holy Saturday is about facing our darkness and growing in hope.   That is why the Holy Saturday service begins in darkness. Once again we gather in a darkened church, but, this time we light the new fire. We spread the light of Christ from one to another. We ring bells and fill the church with sound and light, with words and prayers. For this is the night that we move from darkness to light.  


The Holy Week liturgies are a gift. These ancient liturgies find ways to hold us, individually and corporately. They frame our stories, our own experiences of life and death, suffering and joy, failure and success, alongside the story of Jesus. Slowly, but surely, we begin to see one in light of the other and the presence of God in both. Again, as Joan Chittester says, "For those of us who sit and watch the tridduum unfold year after year, as the spiral of insight and wisdom, experience and understanding, grows in us, there is a decision to be made. Has there been a passage in us from old life to new? Will we accept what we have been given? Will we become what we are meant to be? Will we really follow Jesus or simply go on watching from afar."


May God help each of us to prayerfully enter into into the fullness of Holy Week and the triduum.






Prayer for Holy Week  



as we start once again

to follow you

on the way of the cross,

we are apprehensive.

For we are not sure

of ourselves

On our journey

we have often been afraid,

often sought the safe options,

often fudged the sharp solution.

On our journey

we have often tried to hide

our real selves

from others,

from ourselves

and from you.

We, who dare to say

we are following you,

know how faltering are our footsteps,

how delicate our discipleships,

how feeble our faith.

Yet still you call us

by name

and invite us into your company

and onto your road.

So give us the courage

and the commitment we need:

help us to look out for one another on the road;

show us how we may share the duty

and the joy of discipleship

knowing that, in the end,

it is you who have blazed the trail,

you who accompany us all the way,

you who will meet us on the road,

and say our name. Amen.


John Harvey



This month at St. Laurence



Sunday, April 1: Palm Sunday


Monday in Holy Week: 7 pm Stations of the Cross at St. Marks and St. Philips (1802 33rd Ave. SW)


Tuesday in Holy Week: 7 pm 

Contemplative Prayer at St. Marks and St. Philips (1802 33rd Ave. SW)


Wednesday in Holy Week: 7 pm

Meditation and Prayer at St. Marks and St. Philips (1802 33rd Ave. SW)


Maundy Thursday: 9:30 am Contemplative Prayer at St. Laurence


Maundy Thursday: 7:30 pm

Footwashing, Last Supper and Stripping of Sanctuary at St. Laurence.  This service will begin with a very light meal and footwashing downstairs (please brings slippers or sandals to wear) and finish with Eucharist upstairs


Good Friday: 10 am

Last Words of Jesus and Veneration of the Cross


Holy Saturday: 8 pm Easter Vigil Service at St. Stephens (1121 14th Ave SW)


Sunday, April 8: Easter Sunday 10 am service at St. Laurence


Wednesday, April 11 7:30 pm- Anna, Don and Natasha (rector of St. Martins) begin a 3 Wednesday evening series on the Atonement to prepare for Wisdom Centre event with the Rev. Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock

click here for more information  


Sunday, April 15: Easter 2 10 am service followed by discussion of Steve Earle's book, We'll Never Get Out Of This Alive 


Thursday, April 19 9:30 am - Contemplative Prayer 


Sunday, April  22 - Easter 3 10 am Service.


Sunday, April 29 - Easter 4 - 10 am Service. Don McLeod to preside and preach