Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Holy Week 2016 - Rector's Rambling for March 20, 2016

Now it all gets very serious.  I know that may sound odd, as if the rest of our growth in the spiritual life is not.  But this week is called Holy Week for a very good reason.  During this week the holiest of events happen in our Lord’s life, and the effect of that holiness is for us and for our salvation!
This week contains a bevy of opportunities for worship, so that you can go more and more deeply into the mystery of our Lord’s sacrifice.  For a period of time these liturgies became the purview of monks, nuns, and small religious communities who could concentrate their time and effort to such important worship.
Thankfully, restorations in the church, particularly by the more catholic-minded elements in Anglicanism, helped to restore the liturgies of this week to common use in the parish church, and opened their participation to all those who are members of the body of Christ.  The spiritual life and health of the Church has been greatly enhanced by this correction.
BUT, all that being said, there has been in the last few years, both here at St. John’s and other parishes in general, a slackening of attendance at these service.  This is a cause for concern.  Are we too busy to spend a couple extra nights at St. John’s (Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday) or a portion of our Friday afternoon?
Although we do read the Passion Gospel on Palm Sunday, we certainly do need a full week of devotion to enter deeply into this wonderful mystery of Christ’s sacrifice.  The Church offers the opportunity to do just that!
Here is your challenge this year: I want you to DOUBLE your Holy Week Service attendance this year!  If last year’s attendance was zero, you need to add one.  If it was two, go to four this year!  The doubling of your attendance should also then show in an increase in attendance at the services, which is not only pleasing to God, but also an encouragement to others who have made time to come as well.
Let’s make this our best Holy Week ever.