A procession with palm branches, water splashing over your feet, the darkened assembly room, the seven last words of Christ from the cross, silence, waiting, prayer, a joyful alleluia, bread and wine shared with friends and strangers – these are some of the experiences we will have in the monastery during Holy Week next week, experiences we wish to share with you.
We begin our Palm Sunday worship at 9 am by blessing palm branches, hearing the story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and processing around the building and into the assembly room. There, we listen to the story of Jesus passion and share the Eucharist.
The Triduum (“three days”) is a special time for us to meditate on Jesus’ last days on earth. We begin by gathering with friends and guests for a social and hors d’oeuvres at 6 p.m. on Holy Thursday. Then we move from the table of fellowship to the table of the Eucharist at 7 p.m. We read the account of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. Following the homily, those who wish wash one another’s feet as a symbol of service. Our collection this night will assist the food pantries at Vera Court Neighborhood Center and Saint Vincent DePaul Society. The liturgy concludes with time for silent prayer.
At 3 p.m. on Good Friday we gather in silence. We will hear the Seven Last Words of Christ from the cross each followed by a short reflection. With simple chant, the cross is brought into the midst of the community. Through the veneration of the cross and prayers of intercession, we respond to the Passion of Jesus.
Our Easter Vigil begins at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday. We gather to hear the stories of our history as God’s people. The liturgy continues with the lighting of the new fire and the Easter candle. We sing the Easter song (Exsultet) and share in the Liturgy of the Word, culminating in the great “Alleluia” and the Easter Gospel. The Easter water is blessed; we renew our baptismal covenant and join in the Liturgy of the Eucharist. A social following the liturgy allows us to share our joy with friends and guests.
On Easter Sunday at 9 a.m. the day of resurrection continues the joy of the Vigil. All are welcome as we proclaim the Risen Christ in scripture, song, baptismal renewal and Eucharist. Coffee and conversation follows.
You are invited to join us for Holy Week at Holy Wisdom Monastery. Come to share in the liturgies, the silence and prayer, all leading up to the great joy of Easter. You may also join in lectio divina on Friday and Saturday mornings as a way of entering more deeply the scriptures for the day.