From the Rector:
This Holy Week finds us in a bit of a diaspora, scattered away from the places and people we love so dearly. For centuries, Christians in other parts of the world have experienced dangers so severe that they dare not meet in person, even during the holiest season of the year. They, too, have known the pain and sorrow of not being with their church family, not participating in the sacraments, and only being able to celebrate from a distance.
We find ourselves in a similar situation this year. The need to not be at Christ Church for Holy Week and Easter is brought on by an illness that we cannot see, but our distance can help eradicate. It’s a different way to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Tomorrow, we observe Maundy Thursday, when we traditionally remember Jesus’ last night with his disciples. He washed their feet and broke bread with them, instituting what we now call Eucharist. A major piece of the Eucharist is to share that meal in the context of community with others who are physically present with each other and the sacrament.
Since we cannot celebrate that sacrament this Maundy Thursday, we will observe an Agape Meal. “Agape” is one of many Greek words for love, and it means the broadest sense of love we can both share and experience. Agape Meals (or love-feasts) were a part of the early Church’s worship practices and even pre-date what we now celebrate as the Eucharist.
For tomorrow’s live stream of Maundy Thursday, we invite you to have some light food and drink near you as we worship. Bread, olives, cheese, maybe even some soup. Traditionally, a glass of wine (like Jesus at the Last Supper) is a part of the Agape Meal, but any beverage will be fine.
All of us long for the day when we can worship in person together. Let us continue to keep our medical community in our prayers, and pray for strength to face the days and weeks ahead.