I hope everyone is keeping well and safe.
This Sunday we begin to quicken our pace… our liturgical colour changes to Red as Lent turns to Passiontide and we cover our crosses and statues in preparation for entering the most sacred time of year, Holy Week. If I’m honest I prefer the welsh for Holy Week, Yr Wythnos Fawr, the big week, the biggest week where the story we tell through the big dramatic liturgies of the week, although it is 2,000 years old has had the biggest impact on the course of our worlds history than any other event and in it’s re-telling year after year it still holds the power to transform us and our world.
I was asked the other day why we cover the crosses and statues, and whilst there are various historical and theological reasons which can be given for me it there is a far simpler reason. It’s hard when telling the story of Jesus Passion not to skip ahead. In our enthusiasm for the end, for the Joy of Easter we can sometimes fail to immerse ourselves fully in the journey that takes us there. By covering the crosses and statues we are saying hold on, that hasn’t happened yet. We must slow down and follow the story through, we must tread the well worn path, however emotional and painful it may be. We must join the Palm Sunday Procession and enter Holy Week with Joy, then as we follow the story through see that joy turn to anger, to grief, to betrayal and suffering until we reach Calvary. I know we all lead busy lives, but if in the course of Holy Week you can only make it to one of the many services and activities laid on for you, then come to Good Friday and witness the events of Calvary, because as I was told many years ago, you can not truly celebrate an empty tomb if you did not see it filled.
Remember next Sunday, for Palm Sunday will be different to our usual pattern of worship as we gather together to enter Jerusalem with Christ and cross the threshold into Holy Week together.
We have 3 starting points for our journey… Llanfair, Llanbedr & Llanrhydd (I believe there’s a donkey going to be in Llanrhydd to add to the drama!), all at 9.30am.
Then after the short liturgy of the Palms we will make our way, some by foot and some by car to the Square in Ruthin.
There should be time for a breather before at 10.30am we will gather in the square to publicly proclaim the Gospel of the Passion.
Then together, on foot or by car, we will make our way to Llanfwrog, there to celebrate the Eucharist, to receive the Body of Christ to strengthen us for the journey through Holy Week…
But for the rest of today, for me, it’s down to the churchyard in Llanbedr to do a spot of gardening ready for tomorrow… Unfortunately the community event at the old church for tomorrow has been cancelled so we’re going to be holding Wild Church at 2pm in the new church in Llanbedr instead. We’ve got some large half barrels to be planted up and a new flower bed to create, and as we do some weeding we’ll have plenty of thorns to make into crowns… do come along and join us, as well as the gardening there will be the obligatory hot chocolate and marshmallows to toast over the fire!
And don’t forget we’ve got our monthly travelling evensong at 6pm in Llanfwrog this Sunday
And next Saturday (9th of April) at 4pm there’s a chance to pray the stations of the Cross in Llanbedr DC.