A look back at Holy Week

Another Holy Week has come and gone, and we are now well into Eastertide.

But, I would be remiss if I did not spend a few minutes reflecting on all of the work that was put into developing the liturgies for Holy Week this year at Heavenly Rest, especially the liturgies of the Paschal Triduum, beginning with the Proper Liturgy for Maundy Thursday, continuing with the Proper Liturgy for Good Friday, and concluding with the Great Vigil of Easter.

This year, we expanded a bit on what was already a rich and meaningful Holy Week tradition at Heavenly Rest, and I am thankful to everyone who heard and appreciated some of the ideas that I brought from my experience and worked with me to implement them.

Probably the most notable change this year was the addition of a Chapel of Repose. To my knowledge, Heavenly Rest has had a long-standing tradition of placing the reserved Sacrament on the Chapel altar following the Maundy Thursday liturgy and inviting people to “keep watch” with Christ throughout the night. This year, though, we transformed the entire Chapel into a beautiful garden with the intention of creating a space for people to meditate and pray, not only on the events leading up to the crucifixion but on the implications that our Lord’s death and resurrection have on our lives.

As part of the preparation, I formed a committee of volunteers to brainstorm and to come up with a reasonable plan for creating the Chapel garden. We began months in advance, looking at pictures of what other parishes have done in the past and creating lists of all that would be needed to pull off such a project. The result, I think, was a huge success. Below, I have included a few pictures as well as a PDF of the booklet of prayers and readings that I put together for people to use during the “All-Night Vigil” on Thursday night and early Friday morning.


Click here to view a PDF of the All-Night Vigil booklet.

In addition to the Chapel of Repose, I re-designed the service booklets for the Triduum liturgies and was very happy with the way that they turned out. One of my goals in the re-design was to create a sense of consistency in order to convey the fact that all three liturgies are a part of one long narrative, which is, I think, an essential aspect in understanding the significance of observing the rites in the first place.

Click here to view a PDF of the Maundy Thursday service booklet.

Click here to view a PDF of the Good Friday service booklet.

Click here to view a PDF of the service booklet for the Great Vigil of Easter.

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A Liturgy for the Blessing and Dedication of a Playground

In my position as Curate at Heavenly Rest, I often get the opportunity to be creative when it comes to developing liturgies and trying new things in worship, an aspect of my ministry here that I find deeply meaningful and rewarding.

Recently, we completed construction on a brand new playground for the children of the parish and the surrounding neighborhood to enjoy. Perfect timing for our celebration of Easter! We even had a party on the playground and an Easter egg hunt, featuring the Easter Bunny, of course!

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Like the good Episcopalians that we are, we are marking the occasion of a new playground with a service of dedication and blessing, and I was recently asked to help compose a liturgy for the ceremony. I figured that this might be a helpful thing to share, in case anyone else has the need for such a service. The liturgy is adapted using various prayers from The Book of Occasional Services. Please feel free to use it or adapt it for your own needs.

Click here to download a PDF version of the liturgy.