Dean Letter: What will happen to Holy Week?

Dear St. Paul’s family,

Holy Week is just two weeks away, starting with Palm
Sunday on April 5. It’s now clear that we won’t be able to observe Holy
Week and Easter as we have before. The cathedral staff have put together
a plan, however, so that we can all worship
from our homes and feel some connection to the greater Body of Christ.
All services will be available for live and on-demand viewing on
Facebook, some also on our website. All of this of course is subject to
change if stricter shelter-in-place measures are
enacted, but you can count on some kind of live online worship at the
advertised times, whatever happens.

On Palm Sunday, Domingo de Ramos, at 10:30 you can tune
in for the Palm Liturgy, followed by a homily and the chanting of the
Passion according to Matthew. The 1 pm service in Spanish will follow a
similar structure, but with a straightforward
reading of the Passion. Please find some palm fronds or fresh branches
to hold as you pray. The Palm Sunday liturgy begins on p. 270 of the
Book of Common Prayer, or p. 189 en el Libro de Oración Común.

There will be a 5:00 service online, format to be determined, likely including a homily by one of the Bishop’s staff.

We will stream Choral Tenebrae on Wednesday at 7 pm. This service is not in the prayer book: just lose yourself in the beauty!

As the Maundy Thursday liturgy is so focused on the
Eucharist and the washing of feet, we could not come up with a suitable
substitute. So at 7:00 pm we will stream the video of last year’s Maundy
Thursday service, possibly substituting a bilingual
homily relevant to the moment. This liturgy is at p.274 in the BCP and
para Jueves Santo en p.193 en el LOC.

On Good Friday at noon we will offer the Stations of the
Cross on Facebook, filmed on a handheld phone camera. The chanted
Passion according to St. John will be available on demand.

On Holy Saturday at 7:30 pm, like Thursday, we will offer
the video of last year’s Great Vigil. Again, we hope to include a
current, bilingual homily.

On Easter Day at 10:30 am we will host a diocesan,
multicultural service led by our Bishop, with musical contributions from
a number of parishes and other features to bring our diocese together.
The technology for this is being worked on. There
will be no other broadcast services on Easter Day.

Please note that the church will not be adorned for
Easter in the traditional way. If you have already made a gift towards
Easter flowers, thank you; be assured that we will decorate with abandon
once all this is past and that your generosity
will be appropriately acknowledged. And please, don’t forget to make
your regular and special Easter gifts: we are still paying our staff.

I hope this information will help you to celebrate Easter in the midst of these very strange times.

We simply must keep our focus on the resurrection of
Jesus and the love of God that never fails. These truths endure
regardless of our current reality.


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Because of you,


Have questions or need to make changes?
Feel free to contact us, and we will be more than happy to answer all of your questions.