Dear Ones, Thank you again for your prayers and your patience during this anxious time!
This year, for the first time in our history as a parish, we will be celebrating Holy Week and Pascha in our homes rather than at church. As difficult as that will be for all of us, we need to remember that whatever our circumstances, Christ is risen from the dead and that Holy Week and Pascha will be celebrated.
I want to remind you that in the not so distant past, Holy Week and Pascha were celebrated in Nazi concentration camps and Communist gulags. Our grandparents and great-grandparents have prayed under trees and in barracks, turning bed sheets into vestments and tin cups into chalices. They whispered memorized prayers and used their imaginations to re-create the experiences of Church they had hidden in their hearts during times of war and persecution. This year we must do what they did, bringing Holy Week and Pascha celebrations into the relative peace and safety of our homes. We have a bit of time to think ahead and prepare about how we’re going to do this.
Our Parish website has a number of excellent resources to help you celebrate Holy Week and Pascha at home. I encourage you to look over them today and put together a plan for your family. Some of the ideas might be too ambitious or impractical, but don't let that deter you. Think about the things you normally do, like eat pancakes on Lazarus Saturday, and do them at home instead. Participate in the live-streaming of the services as if you were here.
This will take great effort on your part. However, by now, we should be use to exerting greater effort during Holy Week and Pascha. It won't be easy, but it can become the most memorable Holy Week and Pascha of our lifetime. I especially want to encourage the parents of school-aged children. I wish these resources were around when our kids were young. You can do this!
We are given an opportunity this year to bring Holy Week and Pascha into our homes – something we should do every year!May the Crucified and Risen Lord Jesus guide us, guard us, keep us and protect us during this difficult time and may nothing ever rob us of the joy that comes from knowing that death has been conquered and that Christ is Risen!