Even though we can't be together at church for the holiest week of the year for Christians, we can still be church together to observe the Triduum, the Great Three Days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and the Easter Vigil. Holy Saturday and Easter Day will be pre-recorded services that you can attend on Facebook and YouTube at 10AM on Saturday, April 11 and Sunday, April 12, respectively. Le Chemin de la Croix Organ Recital will be posted at noon on Friday, April, 10 on Facebook and Youtube.
For the rest of the liturgies, we will be joining together over Zoom . In these virtual services, you'll be guided through participation, whether you're home alone or with a housefull, so that we can journey toward Easter together as a community. It will be different, but we believe God has surprise blessings for us in this season and we are excited to journey toward the resurrection with you.
How It Will Work
For each day of the Triduum, you will receive a special email with that day's service bulletin and a link to our Zoom gathering . The Zoom meeting will go live 25 minutes before the service starts. Anyone who has not used Zoom before and would like assistance getting oriented is invited to join early. Because so much of these Holy Days is visual, we encourage people to join, when possible, with video on a laptop or desktop, rather than on devices with smaller screens like a smartphone.
For each liturgy, you'll receive the service bulletin along with the link to our Zoom gathering. If you have multiple devices, you are encouraged to pull up the service bulletin on a separate device so that you can follow along. Of course, you can always print it too.
Because this is a new experience for all of us, the officiant will provide extra prompts and explanations to clarify how the service will proceed. There may be moments of internet pause or garbled sound, so we'll all need a little good-humor and fellow-feeling to do this together.
There's more information about this below, but for those who won't get that far, a word about security: we have taken steps to secure our Zoom gatherings during the Triduum. One way that you can help us, strange as it may sound, is by not sharing any Zoom call links on social media (which means not posting links to these special emails on social media either). We welcome new faces, so feel free to send personal invitations, but want to make sure we keep our gatherings safe.
At-Home Prayer Space
For these services, we've compiled a Holy Week at Home Guide, where you'll find suggested materials and set-up for your at-home participation. As you'll see, the focal point is a prayer space that you can make in your home. The invitation is to use this during Holy Week-and to keep it around if you like- as a sacred space to turn to our Lord as we await the day when we can be together again. It uses simple components and invites your creativity! Simply follow the guide linked above to discover how to create this space. You don't need to wait until Maundy Thursday to make it, so feel free to set it up Wednesday so that it is ready for the Triduum on Thursday.
Special Things to Know for Each Service
Maundy Thursday centers on a meal, so we hope that you will eat your dinner with us from your home at 7PM (Don't worry, most of us will be muted so we won't hear each other eat). At the beginning of the liturgy, we will have prayers said over the food you're eating (it's okay if you've started before the prayers!) and then launch into the liturgy. This is a great excuse to try that Mediterranean recipe you've been eyeing, but don't feel the pressure to go crazy. The point is that we are eating together, just as Jesus did with his disciples.
Maundy Thursday remembers Jesus' washing of his disciples' feet and the institution of the Holy Eucharist. The footwashing this year will be an interactive meditation where, with your feet submerged in water at home, you will be guided to imagine that Jesus is there washing your feet.
Maundy Thursday traditionally includes the stripping of the altar as a sign of the rending of Christ's robes and the desolation of his disciples after his arrest. You'll be invited to follow that pattern by stripping the prayer table you've made until we redress them at the Easter Vigil (or Easter morning if you're not joining for the Vigil).
- The focal point of this liturgy is the cross. Good Friday traditionally includes a practice called the veneration of the cross, where people can approach a wooden cross and make prayers and devotions. This year, we will venerate the cross through a digital art gallery, featuring the cross-themed works of Palmer parishioners. You don't need to do anything to prepare, but we wanted you to know what to expect.
- Holy Saturday is a morning liturgy that captures the grief of the disciples at the death of their Teacher. It evokes the pain of waiting-something all too familiar to us in these days. This is a brief service, lasting only a few minutes, and can be viewed on Palmer's Facebook and YouTube pages. There is no service bulletin for this liturgy, but you can follow along in the Book of Common Prayer on page 283.
- The Easter Vigil is all about light shining in the darkness and proclaiming Christ's triumphant defeat of death. In addition to the readings and chanting that make this service so special, there are very important at-home components. Follow the At-Home Guide for set-up and material preparation, and be ready to light candles as guided and, at the appointed time, to make a lot of noise!
Security Concerns with Zoom
You may have read that, across the country, some people are taking advantage of community Zoom use and interfering with people's calls in a trend being labeled "Zoombombing". With consultation, we have taken steps to secure our Zoom gatherings during the Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil) and are asking you to help. One way that you can help us, strange as it may sound, is by not sharing any Zoom call links on social media (which means not posting links to The Palmer for this week on social media either). If you want to send a personal invitation to friends or family, please do! We'd love to have people who don't regularly join us be a part of the Triduum, but we also want to ensure that we can journey through this Holy Week without unwelcome interruption. By keeping circulation of Zoom links to personal channels of communication, we can all walk the path to Jerusalem safely.
Below are the service bulletins for these Holy Week services. Zoom links will be sent out on their respective days.
If you have questions about how this will go or need help with Zoom, feel free to contact The Rev. David Wantland.