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Monday, April 18, 2011

Holy Week Prep Party--Holy Monday Edition

By popular demand, our posts this week will focus on preparations for Holy Week services. Whether you're preaching or presiding or simply praying your way through the week, please join us in the comments and share your thoughts or links to posts you want to share.

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This is Holy Monday. The texts for the day can be found here. At the beginning of a week of both dread and anticipation, we read the prophet Isaiah:

Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching. (Isaiah 42:1-9, NRSV)

We do wait.

At my house, the coffee is on, and we have Honey Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Bread in the toaster. Won't you join me?


  1. hi, Songbird! thanks for hosting. I'm supposed to be off today, but can't help thinking about the week ahead.

    and all that needs to be done.

    so, thanks for being here!

    I'm thinking about a Good Friday Sermon, and the Scripture reading makes for great reflection.

  2. Hi, Diane!
    This is supposed to be my day off, too, but since I'm on vacation next week, I have to think further ahead, and this feels like a good day for it. I always like a day when I can work in my pajamas. :-)
    I need to write my newsletter article for May, and I think I'll take a look at the texts for the weeks after Easter, too. By tomorrow, I'll be too deep into this week's work and texts to remember there IS anything after Easter Sunday!

  3. i'm in pj's too... only b/c i have a splitting headache and the beginnings of "something"... not good. not good at all. so instead of out & about today... i'm lying low. trying to eat well, squeeze in a nap later *gasp* and head off at the pass any sickness...

    finishing up thursday's sermon.

    fresh banana bread and french vanilla coffee over here...

  4. hot cup, rats! I hope you feel better soon.

  5. I am praying my way through this week for everyone who has services as we don't at this time. So I am cleaning house with my 18 mo old grandson, and we are taking moments to sing and pray for others.

  6. Anonymous, thank you so much for your prayers. You are in my heart as you clean.

  7. Trying not to freak out here with 6 sermons to write plus tie up loose ends plus I have an unpleasant and currently unbloggable work task to carry out--worst possible timing.

  8. I am hoping it's not an omen for the week that one toilet overflowed massively this morning...and we just had the sewer line roto-rooted last week. I am trying to remain a non-anxious presence in the midst of a total mess...

    I'll be at work for a while this morning, after a well-dog trip to the vet. I do have some tentative ideas for MT and Easter Day sermons, so that is good news.

    Hot Cup, I hope the "something" goes away rapidly.

    Rev Dr Mom, may the work matters resolve far more smoothly than you have any reason to expect, and may you have the strength and patience to deal with whatever it turns out to be.

  9. I'm working on our new church website with hopes of having it go live before Easter. Our associate pastor has done the bulk of the work, but somehow got caught up in things like sermonizing last week. He kind of gave me carte blanche to go ahead and write up the blank pages, but he'll still have to vet everything. I'm also working with our pastor to figure out just what voice she wants on the site (to blog or not to blog/on site or off site). My spouse, who handles the technical end of things when it goes beyond either the AP or my knowledge, is shaking his head at the push to finish (he foresees sudden problems as his turn comes and we switch from a temporary space to the real space about which we humanities people are naive.) We'll see, but I am feeling energized about being a part of things even in this small way.
    (and it's my son Oliver's 2nd birthday and my dad's 70th.)

  10. Betsy, what a mess!
    And RDM, prayers for the unbloggables.

  11. Wendy, Easter is a tough deadline for anything that isn't actually the worship service, and even for that!

  12. We just finished, on Saturday, a huge supplemental songbook project, and after punching holes in all the bazillion pages, we discovered that our vacuum, which lives in the youth-group shower that is never used, had been sitting in water since the last time anyone used it. On Palm Sunday, we not only had palms too sharp for children's hands and OGHS fish banks that burst open during the procession, we had dots! It's always something, and God always shows up — TBTG!

    This week I "only" have three services and a youth event involving a pinata and cascarones — more confetti! — and it actually feels like a manageable week. One of the many blessings of Easter is that the entire focus is on the Risen Christ, the Gospel and the choir, and not on the preacher!

  13. Spent today at a Holy Week worship (and getting there/back) for rostered leaders led by our bishop--which in some ways seems like a bad time, but maybe the most important time--a time to breathe and be fed prior to all the times we will be leading and feeding this week.

    I am almost set for Maundy Thursday and Friday. Haven't really thought about Sunday. Also busy getting ready for my baby due May 17--and hoping/praying it doesn't come early as my last one did (a month!). I guess I'm thinking more about life than death--even going into Thursday and Friday!

  14. I have been working on my prayer stations for Friday, the MT 'sermonette' and bulletin, and Easter - it's like the Master's Tournament of the church year!

  15. Like many others supposed to be taking the day off, I am having trouble keeping my brain from pushing forward into the week ahead. Apparently I had this problem last year too, and found that I had blogged about it. When I looked back, what I prayed then gave me comfort now - so here's the link if it might help others breathe a little easier too. :)

    I also made kind of a radical decision (radical for me) not to make my annual family gathering Easter pies & cakes from scratch this year, but to buy them. This decision took embarrassingly more agony than I care to admit, but makes the week feel that much lighter!

    Blessings on you all as you pray and prepare...

  16. Kara, it's funny how choices that really are logical can still be so difficult for us to make!

    Silent, here's hoping your little one waits to burst forth until after the Lord does so ;-)

    Suzy, will you forgive me for laughing at the thought of the combo of un-holdable palms, bursting fish, and punch confetti everywhere? It certainly gives you a point of reference for future years, as in "Well, at least it's not as bad as..."!

    Can anyone point me straight to the Ann Lamott quote about wearing crash helmets to worship? I have it in mind because on Maundy Thursday I want to preach about whether we become ho-hum about the amazing, daring, risky act of taking Christ into ourselves in the eucharist.

  17. Betsy: It's Annie Dillard. Here is a WikiQuotes link: Crash Helmets

  18. being vague... it's the middle of the three quotes on that page.

  19. We have eight days of masses in my sabbatical parish. I'm going to say mass for my colleague tonight. (It's his wife's birthday.) After tomorrow's mass I'll do some congregational teaching. I'll return to the seclusion of my seaside sabbatical cottage for Wednesday and Thursday and then preach the first Good Friday service. Back to seclusion until the 5:30 (am) Easter Vigil service. We'll figure out between now and then what I'm doing on Easter Day.
    And continuing to write almost every day on the book that turned itself into a two-volume series without my permission, and working on my modern Hebrew - you redheads are "gingis" and you blondes are "blondinis." There are older biblical Hebrew words for black and brown.
    And I'm working on the sermon I preach when I get back to the mainland. I had a perfectly good idea but SomeOne is whispering a new idea rather loudly...

  20. Five services this week, and no ideas for any of them. Been through my resource books, and found some new things.
    First up is the monthly communion service at an aged care center, is it Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Easter? Our next service there is 2 weeks away. [It is a Catholic Aged care center, so there will be other services.]
    How long before I can reuse a service in the same congregation? not a whole service, but one of the wonderful Iona resources.

  21. I only have the MT sermon to write, so my week is fairly easy. Still, I appreciate the link to the daily readings and the on-going party.

    I'm focusing on the OT and NT readings for MT. "Active Remembering" apears to be the early theme. I just started reading "Reclaiming the Imagination" by David Fleer and Dave Bland (eds). It's about the exodus narrative and the first section is by Walter Brueggemann, who has some wonderful things to teach about the value of the grandparents' stories.

    We'll just have to see if that's where I end up in 3 days!

    In the meantime, I battled fatigue all day - even after water aerobics! I hope I have more energy tomorrow.

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  23. I enjoy reading your posts so much. There is something about this week that makes me feel connected to ministers everywhere!

  24. So glad we could be together today. Stop by tomorrow for Lectionary Leanings!

  25. Thanks, Wendy! The confusion in authors would explain why I wasn't finding it looking through AL's books...

    Chilly, I totally agree about the companionship of friends enhancing (and sometimes, making possible) the journey.

  26. One day late! I am spending Holy Week as Jesus did--speaking out to protect the innocent and convert the guilty. Many of us are calling Dignity USA and Dignity Dayton/Living Beatitudes to stop allowing Ellis Harsham, who left the Roman Catholic priesthood after admitted sexual misconduct, to celebrate masses for ten years at Dignity Dayton/Living Beatitudes Community. They are refusing to respond publicly to local media reports but their blog accidentally tells members publicly to make no public statement. Please visit my blog, read and repost on blogs and FB and if it could go on Wed festival that would be great. We need to go viral to tell Dignity "LIVE THE BEATITUDES--TELL THE TRUTH!"

  27. wil - I like the gingis title - loved Ginger as the redhead on Gilligan's Island!


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