Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Good Friday 2018 (Year B)

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Good Friday 2018 (Year B)

Good Friday

Good Friday is a reminder of the darkness experienced by Christ on our behalf. Out of true death, comes true life. His death and resurrection comprise the mysteries at the very heart of Christian faith. On this day, Christ became the, “…Paschal (Passover) Lamb of our salvation, by whose blood we have been purchased unto God as His own consecrated people, a holy nation, a royal priesthood. Christians today gather at the foot of the cross with Mary the Lord’s Mother, the beloved disciple John, the repentant Mary Magdalene and her several companions, the confessing Centurion and all others who have, down through the ages…(been) made holy by the redeeming act of the God who loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.”

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Maundy Thursday 2018

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Maundy Thursday 2018

Maundy Thursday

“Maundy Thursday marks three key events in Jesus’ last week: his washing of his disciples’ feet, his institution of the Lord’s Supper, and his new commandment to love one another. This service begins the Triduum, the three-day period from sunset on Thursday to sunset on Easter Day. The name “Maundy Thursday” comes from the Latin mandatum novum, referring to the “new commandment” Jesus taught his disciples (John 13:34). In other words, this is “new commandment Thursday.” -from The Worship Sourcebook, 2nd. Edition.

On this day, Jesus commemorated the Passover meal with his disciples, an observance of God rescuing his people from slavery in Egypt. In celebrating this observance, Jesus was pointing to the new covenant he would make with God’s people, rescuing them from spiritual slavery to sin and death. Before the meal, he washed the feet of his disciples and instituted the Lord’s Supper (Communion, Eucharist, Mass). In so doing, our servant King provided a means of grace and an example for us to follow. Christian participation in these practices reflects upon the new command of Jesus to, “Love each other as I have loved you.”

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Holy Week 2018 (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Holy Week 2018 (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)

Passion Week: Journeying Toward the Paschal Mystery

Lent began over five weeks ago on Ash Wednesday. Over the course of this week, Christians around the world will re-enact and remember the days leading up to Christ’s death and resurrection. This journey towards the cross began on Palm Sunday with a commemoration of Jesus entry into Jerusalem on a donkey. The people who confessed and praised him as the Savior King later cry out, “…crucify him, crucify him!”

On Monday and Tuesday, Jesus returned to Jerusalem from Bethany and purified the Temple, fulfilling the prophecy from the Old Testament (ex. Malachi 3:1-5). In Jerusalem, the tension continued to mount between Jesus and the religious rulers. Wednesday of Holy week is traditionally called “Spy Wednesday” because the enemies of Jesus were watching him closely and looking for an opportunity to capture him. On this day, the adoration of Mary of Bethany is juxtaposed with the tragic betrayal of Judas.

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Palm Sunday 2018 (Year B)

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Palm Sunday Sunday 2018 (Year B)

The Humility of the True King
“Jesus prepares to enter Jerusalem. He will enter majestically, hearing cries of ‘Hosanna in the highest!’ His sights are set on what he must do; his intentions are faithful to God, who sustains him. Soon the crowds will disperse, to be replaced by tormentors. Adulation will cease, and he will be faced with betrayal. Humiliation and obedience lead to death so that life may abound to God’s glory.”
“This is the day the Lord had made–let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29)! Jesus humbled himself on the cross for us (Philippians 2:5-11). God’s help for us is all-sufficient (Isaiah 50:4-9a). Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord (Mark 11:1-11).”
-Thomas Oden, from Ancient Christian Devotional
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“Who Shall Deliver Me?” A Poem by Christina Rossetti

Who Shall Deliver Me?

God strengthen me to bear myself;
That heaviest weight of all to bear,
Inalienable weight of care.

All others are outside myself;
I lock my door and bar them out
The turmoil, tedium, gad-about.

I lock my door upon myself,
And bar them out; but who shall wall
Self from myself, most loathed of all?

If I could once lay down myself,
And start self-purged upon the race
That all must run ! Death runs apace.

If I could set aside myself,
And start with lightened heart upon
The road by all men overgone!

God harden me against myself,
This coward with pathetic voice
Who craves for ease and rest and joys

Myself, arch-traitor to myself;
My hollowest friend, my deadliest foe,
My clog whatever road I go.

Yet One there is can curb myself,
Can roll the strangling load from me
Break off the yoke and set me free

-Christina Rossetti

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Fifth Sunday in Lent 2018 (Year B)

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Fifth Sunday in Lent 2018 (Year B)

Fresh Faith and a Clean Heart
“The old passes away, the new emerges. The grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies. From it springs the stalk that in time produces much fruit. Death’s sting is tempered by the promise of new life. Do not cling to old ways that hinder your ability to realize the hope of the gospel. Rather, let what you glean from the past lead to fresh insight, so that you may mature in faith.”
“Create in us clean hearts, O Lord (Psalm 51:1-12); write your law on our hearts and forget our sins forever (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Christ, who was divine, took on human flesh in order to give us eternal salvation (Hebrews 5:5-10). Follow him. Walk in the light (John 12:20-33).”
-Thomas Oden, from Ancient Christian Devotional
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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Fourth Sunday in Lent 2018 (Year B)

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Fourth Sunday in Lent 2018 (Year B)

He Gave His Son
Give thanks to the Lord (Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22), for the power of sin was broken on the cross (Numbers 21:4-9). For God so loved the world that he gave his Son (John 3:14-21); by his grace and mercy, we are saved (Ephesians 2:1-10).
-Thomas Oden, Ancient Christian Devotional

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Third Sunday in Lent 2018 (Year B)

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Third Sunday in Lent 2018 (Year B)

The Way of Obedience
Let the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight (Psalm 19). Help us to follow your commandments (Exodus 20:1-17) and fully believe and embrace the teachings of Jesus (John 2:13-22). Help us to remember that God makes foolish the wisdom of the world (1 Corinthians 1:18-25).
-Thomas Oden, Ancient Christian Devotional

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Second Sunday in Lent 2018 (Year B)

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Second Sunday in Lent 2018 (Year B)

A Faith Willing to Give Everything

Peter is rebuked because he misunderstood what it meant to follow Jesus. Jesus must suffer, even be put to death. To be his disciple means sacrifice as well. Such a thought was difficult for Peter, just as it is for us today. To lose one’s life for Christ sake is to put self behind and serve others without thought of reward.
-James Kirk, in When We Gather: A Book of Prayers for Worship
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