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Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday: At the Cross



How's it going, preachers and pastors?

The charming sanctuary above, framed in palm trees, is actually still devastated inside from Hurricane Katrina damage. That congregation joined with another one after the storm, and that merged congregation is the one I serve as interim pastor here in New Orleans.  The church still owns and uses both of their "legacy" locations in different ways; the sanctuary we use is at the other location.

Today, our congregation and (they say) lots and lots of our neighbors will be outside at this location for the annual Good Friday worship service and fish fry. The menu is extensive and includes boiled crawfish, one of my favorite things.  The worship I have planned is brief, very brief.  We are giving each person a rather large nail as a remembrance.  We will enjoy a sunny day with temperatures in the 70s.  It's a Good Friday atmosphere unlike any I've ever experienced.  

What is on your Friday agenda -- liturgically-speaking or otherwise?

How did Maundy Thursday go?  Links and pictures, please!

Let us know what's coming up today in your churches.  If you are looking toward Sunday already, this can be a pre-Preacher Party for Easter Day.

Take some time today to pause and do something to take care of you.  Breathe. Walk.  Drink water.  You know the drill.

If you need anything, just ask!

33 comments:

  1. We have a half hour children's service at 9am (which I only attend -- thank goodness I don't have to do anything!) and then a 3 hour service from 12-3 at which I will present the scriptural stations of the cross, each with a short meditation. Saturday a rehearsal for the dawn service, the funeral of a colleague and then in the afternoon to sit in the church if anyone wants to make a confession. Never done that before and it doesn't fit in with my churchmanship (what's the gender inclusive word for that?), but I felt led to offer it this year. Hope no one comes, I must admit!

    I have a rough draft of my Easter sermon but not sure if that is what I will use in the end.
    A blessed day to you all!

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    1. Offering a prayer for you now as you are already in the midst of these things.

      Alternatives to "churchmanship"? Hmmm . . . not sure . . .

      Many blessings to you, Pat.

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  2. Good morning. I'm spending the day packing for a trip. We have worship at 7pm where I'm doing our first ever Tenebrae, so excited about that. Good Friday in New Orleans sounds awesome but, I imagine, strange too. Nothing on Saturday and then a share service on Sunday with little prep still to be done. So looking forward to a "light" weekend.

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    1. Liz, do let us know how the first Tenebrae goes.

      Trip? Sounds fun!

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  3. I have a noon service with dramtic reading and sung responses to the Passion in John followed by a 3pm Stations of the Cross for kids where we anticipate about 50 kids and their parents. It is a short version (7 stations) and very child appropriate. The last station includes dying Easter eggs (we've hard boiled some 26 dozen eggs) ....at least no sermon today but lots of other work to be done. thanks, Sharon, for hosting!

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    1. Terri, I love the idea of Stations of the Cross for children. Is that a resource you would be willing to share? If so could you please email it to me at revkarsner@gmail.com?

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    2. Terri - if you're sharing, I'd like a copy too: pastorramona@gmail.com. That sounds perfect for next spring's Pizza with the Pastor event!

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    3. Pizza with the Pastor AND Stations of the Cross. Now, there's a great day!

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  4. Ecumenical Walk of Witness through the (large) village this morning. Then Good Friday reflections - an hour's service with Luke's Passion reading interspersed with reflections/poems/monologues and hymns. Then children's service where I am also using stations - very abbreviated - just 4: Kindness (foot washing becomes hand anointing); Sharing - Last Supper (sharing bread and grapes); Forgiveness - at the Easter Garden; and Easter message of love - using 'God's eye' craft. Singing 'One more step' as we move round. I got ideas and resources from this group, most from www.christchurchdearborn.org for which - many thanks!

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    1. Thank you for sharing this with us, Hilary. I would love to offer the children's stations sometime.

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  5. Last night we washed feet, stripped the altar, and offered a watch through the night. Today we have Stations of the Cross with Communion from the reserve sacrament at noon and Good Friday liturgy at 7 PM.

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  6. Today we walk the Urban Way of the Cross. We visit places where Christ is being crucified in Albuquerque, we read scripture, hear a story, sing a song and move on to the next place. We end with prayers for healing. You can see a picture here.

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    1. Very cool! I'll have to remember that if I ever get back to an urban setting.

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    2. Albuquerque!

      That sounds very powerful, RevAlli.

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  7. Last night we shared communion, and stripped the altar. It was lightly attended and I was off my game all night, so it felt flat and weird to me. However, after the service, one of the clean up crew told me that it was very moving.

    Today a 10am worship - we're reading John, doing the bidding prayer and solemn reproaches. No sermon.

    Self care today is a trip to the City with the fam for some shopping (new Easter suit maybe?) and dinner.

    We don't do an Easter Vigil, but tommorow holds a council meeting, preparing for the SS egg hunt and sermon writing. And if all goes well, off to bed early for a good night's sleep.

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    1. Ramona, I have been wondering if there might be a new outfit in my future. Maybe I can work in a shopping trip today, too.

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  8. Last night, a service of Holy Communion and stripping of the altar.
    This evening a simple tenebrae service, extinguishing candles, while focusing on the Seven Last Questions with reflections and hymns, Streipitus, and unacommpanied solo of "Were You There?" We
    leave in silence and unsettled, to observe Holy Saturday.
    I have finished my Easter sermon from Luke and have to hard boil eggs to color tomorrow. A traditional Swiss bread to be made and baked tomorrow as well.

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    1. You really have it together. NIce!

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  9. Back from my three hours, went to bless a newborn baby and then collapsed in front of the TV for a while. My throat is sore as I did it all myself. But the congregation found it very moving so it was worth it. Now to think about Sunday's sermons!

    I didn't realise how much easier it was when I was a curate and had the rector of the parish to share the load!

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    1. Hope you can take care of that throat. You might need that voice later! =)

      Shared load is a good thing. I'm hoping to get some readers to help with today's scripture reading. Am I being too optimistic that I can get some help with that on the spur of the moment? Stay tuned . . . !

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  10. The spam filter is a little hole-ier than usual today.

    I am going over to the "Fish Fry / Good Friday Worship" combo event now. See you all in a little while!

    Leaving you a bowl of pistachios and some citrus water.

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  11. Got up, finished the sermon I started last night after the Maundy Thursday footwashing and Eucharist. Solemn Liturgy at noon, which I found really moving this year.

    One sermon to go for Sunday; we are doing a shared Deanery wide Easter Vigil tomorrow night at another church and the Bishop is preaching for which I am very, very grateful.

    Attendance last night and today was very very low. And there has been a lot of *stuff* going on that is NOT GOOD which has cast a pall over my week. Trying to stay focused on the resurrection and all things being made new.

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    1. Yuck.

      I hope you can take a little break before sermon writing, RDM.

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  12. Last night our Maundy Thursday service included Reaffirmation of Baptism, Communion and Tenebrae. We just finished our Good Friday seven last words service and left in silence. I'm looking forward to Easter morning and the flowering of the cross. Blessings to all of you.

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    1. Very nice.

      Blessings to you, too, Kate.

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  13. This is not new, but I only found it today - from Working preacher.
    on the incredible, almost unbelievable, nature of the gospel we preach
    it is a reminder I needed as I prep for Easter Sunday

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    1. Thank you, Pearl. A very good reminder, indeed.

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    2. Thank you, Pearl. That is really thought provoking.

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  14. Midday interactive family stations of the cross today...65 people of all ages! Episcopal Good Friday liturgy after that, and a Good Friday vigil tonight with prayers and readings. Work party tomorrow morning and the Easter Vigil on Saturday night (with the previously mentioned and shared Easter sermon of St. John Chrysostom).

    I have a couple of easy children's/all age sermon ideas for Easter if anyone is still searching for something; for the one I will be using, I do need to get the words from floating around in my head to something worth having come out of my mouth :-)

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    1. Oh please, do share, Betsy. It's always good to hear how people deal with the resurrection with children.

      Which reminds me of my favorite church-y joke right now:

      The pastor of a Baptist church had called all of the little children to the front of the church, dressed in their cute Easter outfits and had them sit around him.

      He said, "Today is Easter and you all look so handsome and beautiful. Today we're going to talk about the resurrection. Does anyone know what the resurrection is?"

      One little boy raised his hand, and the pastor said, "Please tell us what the resurrection is."

      The boy said in a clear loud voice, "I'm not sure what it is, but if it lasts more than four hours, you gotta call a doctor!"

      (rim shot)

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    2. Love the joke!

      The inspiration for one I am using this year is the intensity of the words in the Luke gospel: dazzling, amazed, ran, etc. There is lots of action and emotion! So I am starting with some comparisons of a little and a lot: holding up one plastic Easter egg and then the whole giant container of all the ones that will be hidden, humming a tune on a kazoo followed by a few loud chords on the organ, moving a little quickly and then running down the aisle...that sort of thing. I'll then suggest that the Easter story is full of "a lot" with strong responses to the events, and re-tell it in brief looking for those words. This is not a wimpy story! Finally, hold up a crucifix and remind them that it looked like the people who put Jesus to death had a lot of power but when you know about the empty tomb and see all of us gathered 2000 years later to celebrate his resurrection, it becomes clear who really has the most power. Or something along those lines.

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    3. I too am intrigued with the words from Luke - I am thinking the title will be Perplexed, terrified, disbelief, amazed - but that is all I have so far. At least the rest of the service is prepared. almost 5pm on Saturday afternoon, so need to go soon and 'dress' the church for tomorrow.

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