Dear People of God,
We have entered a wilderness most of us could not have imagined when we set out on our Lenten journey back in February. Who could have imagined not being together for Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter? Who could have envisioned sheltering at home, trying to hold an invisible enemy at bay?
(Please click the booklet image above to open Celebrating Holy Week and Easter At Home).
We will spend this year apart, but we will not be alone. Jesus Christ promises never to leave us. In baptism, we were made part of him. We are therefore part of one another, so we are never truly apart, either—never truly isolated.
The song We are the church composed by Jim Yackel says “The church is not a building, the church is not a steeple, the church is not a resting place, the church is a PEOPLE!” And one of the primary places that people have always been with and worshipped God is in their homes.
The liturgies of the church, designed for the gathered people of God, were not intended to be the church’s only—or even primary—expressions of worship. Perhaps one of the enduring gifts of this period of exile from our buildings and gatherings will be the recovery of worship at home.
This little booklet is designed to encourage you, whether you live by yourself, or with one other person, or with children, or with members of several generations, to celebrate Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter Sunday—the holiest week of the Christian year in your home.
You are invited to use the bits that work for you, and tailor them to your needs and circumstances.
While there will be opportunities for us to worship together virtually—some livestreamed and some prerecorded—during Holy Week, these virtual worship services are designed to supplement, not replace, the praying, reflecting, singing, reading and contemplating you will do at home this week.
As this goes to print, Bishop Gutiérrez plans to live stream worship from the Philadelphia Cathedral on Easter Day for the entire diocese. Know you are in my heart and in my prayers, especially now at this holy time of year.
In faith and hope,
ARTIST: HE QI