Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 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 160 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

Monday, March 27, 2023

Passiontide - Rector's Rambling for March 26, 2023

     Today we go yet another step deeper in our preparations for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Back during the -gesima Sundays we switched to purple vestments and hangings and lost the “alleluia” in the liturgy.  When Lent arrived, the flowers disappeared (except for Lætáre Sunday last week) as did the white surplices on the servers and choir.

Now we go deeper with the beginning of Passiontide, as we veil the crosses in the church, and see the “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost” suppressed in our increasing Lenten fast.  And when we get to the Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday) the liturgy gets even more stark on those days.

Why?  “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi” is a statement that what we pray is what we believe (literally “the Law of Prayer is the Law of Belief).  Our corporate worship, particularly the Daily Offices of Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer, as well as the Holy Communion, helps us to express what we believe.  And yet in Lent we strip things back as a tangible reminder that soon we will be looking at the sublime reminder of the painful price Jesus Christ paid on the cross for our salvation.

During these two weeks I hope that we all will take the time to begin to meditate on what Jesus Christ did for us on the Cross.  Just as we do Stations of the Cross on Friday at noon, you can also read the various passion narratives in the four gospels and think deeply upon the offering Jesus made of himself.

Also, now is the time to make sure you have marked on your calendars the important worship on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Day, and to make sure nothing prevents you from joining us for worship on those days.

And you should also be inviting your friends and family to join us for Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Services.  You may be the vehicle God will use to draw others closer to Him, and in an active relationship, just by your invitation to others to join us for worship!