Wednesday, 17 April 2019 17:14

Three Great Days

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2019HTWeb105Holy Thursday - A New Commandment, Loving Service and Broken Bread......

This night we begin the Great Three Days with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. It is a meditation on the connection between the Eucharist and Christian love expressed in serving one another. A meditation on Jesus not only present in the Eucharist but also in the deeds of loving kindness offered to others through us.

On this night we recall Jesus’ commandment to love one another, his washing of the disciples’ feet and the breaking of the bread of his own life, not just at table, but also on the altar of the Cross, for the healing and nourishment of the world.

We bring bread and wine to celebrate the Eucharist. Some of this Bread and Wine we will use tomorrow to strengthen us as we listen again to the Passion of Jesus and to nourish us as we wait for the Resurrection. So at the end of Mass we take the Eucharist to a special place and spend a little time giving thanks for this powerful sign of Christ’s presence which urges us to break and share our lives in loving service of one another.

There is no formal end to the liturgy tonight. What has been begun is not yet finished.

 

2018GFWeb150Good Friday - Passion, Death and....

Our afternoon liturgy today is a meditation on the passion and death of the Lord. We begin listening to the words of Isaiah about the suffering servant on whom is laid the sin of all. We are struck by the brutality of the passion. We wonder at the depth of love of a God who gives up his own life that we might truly live.

We venerate the cross, not as a symbol of horrible death, but as a sign of the victory of God’s love; the end of one way of living and beginning of another. We pray with Christ’s spirit for the needs of the world. We receive again the Food that nourishes and strengthens us on our journey to Easter day.

Our ceremony has no formal beginning or end. What was begun last night will not be finished today.

 

2018EVWeb150Easter Vigil - New life, new people, new family

Our liturgy has no formal beginning. We are bringing our three days to completion. We begin around the fire with the lighting of the Easter Candle, our great symbol of the Risen Christ who is our Light. In the light of the candle we listen to the Scriptures about creation (Genesis), God’s rescue of his people (Exodus), God’s love for us (the Prophets), our baptism into Christ’s death (Romans) and the Resurrection of Jesus (Mark).

In Christ, we too have died to the old ways of living and risen to be the living Body of Christ in the world.

We bless and mark ourselves with the Easter Water recalling God’s mark of ownership over us in Baptism and our commission to be the living presence of Christ.

We celebrate the Eucharist and our communion with Christ and each other. We receive the Easter Blessing which concludes our Three Days. We leave singing, ‘Alleluia!’

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