Beloved in Christ,
One of the greatest joys of any pastor, and especially a bishop, is to celebrate with the faithful in Christ Jesus to the solemn observance of the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection. We call this Holy Week. While a norm for public worship on these occasions is laid out in our Book of Common Prayer, the details vary among our 36 Eucharistic Communities. Whatever is the custom where you usually worship, I hope you took part in it–indeed, plunged into it.
Some decades ago, before I was even ordained, I was helping my own priest implement some of the (what were then new) services for Holy Week. I overheard one person, someone who had evidently been there for a great many years, complain, “But it’s a disruption to our routine!” I didn’t respond to her since she wasn’t talking to me, but I wanted to shout, “You bet it’s a disruption to our routine. The routine is that when we die, we stay dead. Jesus didn’t. He rose from the dead. That is most assuredly a disruption of our routine!”
My impulses have grown mellower as I have aged, and I don’t think I would even have such a temptation anymore. But, as impulses go, it wasn’t all bad. The fact is, if Jesus is not risen from the dead, then nothing we do, whether at Holy Week or any other time, matters. Not a bit. But if Jesus is risen from the dead, then it’s the only thing that matters.
Think about it. And then make a decision to keep your party hat on for the rest of the Great Fifty Days, until Pentecost. Christ is risen … and nothing else matters.