Letter from the Rector
A New Day Dawns
The embers of our common life this Lent continue to glow. In our Sunday Gospels we have entered extensively into the Gospel of John, pointing to the days to come, our “Moments that Make Us Anglican” Lenten series has carried us into Scripture, the Episcopacy, and Mission, and we have the ventured into the mystery of poetry and Scripture with the teaching of the Rev. Dr. Roger Ferlo. As we have been tending these embers I’ve been acutely aware that celebrating Easter at this late date (the second latest date it can be in our liturgical calendar) feels strange. The trees are already budding, tulips and daffodils are in full bloom, Spring has sprung. But in our liturgical cycle we’re not there yet. We have a few more weeks spent in various forms of fast, study, in prayer, in our intentional acts of mercy––all in preparation for the great Mystery.
Following our new liturgical offering on Friday evening April 15th entitled, “A Liturgy of Lament for the World,” the holiest of weeks will begin on Sunday, April 17th. Our 8 and 10 o’clock services will process with palms and expectation, we will experience the Passion, and we will make the pivot from glory into that intense and amazing last week. Later in this Pathfinder you will find the schedule of services for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil, and Easter Day. If you haven’t taken part in these three great days I encourage you, I entreat you, I implore you to take part––it will change you. In entering the Triduum, we are reminded that there are no great stories that do not involve difficulty, fear and loss. Each of the services, whether it be Maundy Thursday’s expression of self-giving love or Good Friday’s contemplation of loss or the soaring drama of the Vigil, each of these expressions allow us to enter into, to immerse ourselves into this foundational story.
As Holy Saturday turns to evening, the embers that we have been keeping and caring for over the forty days will slowly but surely catch fire until they grow to be the new light that we celebrate at the Easter Vigil and on into the morning’s celebration of this great Mystery. This year, as you may have heard, will offer one more occasion to share the Easter joy on Sunday, one that is born out of necessity. Last year at our 10 am Easter Sunday service, some were unable to attend services at All Souls because after placing chairs in the aisles and in the narthex, we simply had no more room. Because of this we have added a new service this year, at 12 noon. This service will be similar to the 10 am service, with the Parish Choir, Angel Band, James Tinsley and of course Christopher Putnam as well as the added joy of a baptism.
This Easter will also bring with it a particular sense of newfound possibility. As many of you know, the recent death of Ann Jordan, a beloved member of All Souls, was deeply felt by our community. In my February letter in this space I wrote about the remarkable witness and testimony that Ann’s memorial service offered us. And I am awed and humbled to share with you that her remarkable witness to her faith continues. Recently our Vestry and I received word from Ann’s estate attorney that Ann left a substantial gift to All Souls Parish as part of her estate. The amount is not known at this time as her estate is still being settled, but what is clear is that this community of All Souls––a community that Ann loved and in which she believed deeply––will be offered new possibilities because of her remarkable generosity. I cannot help but sit in wonder, as we approach this great Mystery of Easter, wonder about an amazing gift of renewed life that comes despite death. Her gift of trust and faith in the Spirit moving in this part of the Body of Christ is an amazing sign of what Jesus speaks of in John’s Gospel when he reminds us that “one sows and another reaps.” Her act of generosity will serve as a witness to all of us that the faith that grew so abundantly in her will now serve to be the seed of faith in the lives of countless others for years to come. Thanks be to God.