As we approach Palm Sunday, I am thinking about another more secular holiday (at least here in the United States) that we’ve just celebrated: St. Patrick’s Day. For the last few months, I have been reading the posts of a friend from my hometown who wants to re-introduce Lewistown, Montana’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. The St. Patrick’s Day parade was quite a thing when I was young. It was held on the nearest Saturday to the 17th and included our marching band, muscle cars, tractors, folks on horseback, and a few floats. During my youth, this parade also featured two of our town’s leaders: Dean Newton, a car dealer, and the principal of my elementary school, Mr. McGuire.
Mr. McGuire, as his name might suggest, was of Irish ancestry and Dean Newton, was apparently of English heritage, so the two men would each sport the “colors” of their countries – England and Ireland. I know a little about the colors because, on St. Patrick’s Day, anyone who did not wear green to school would get pinched by Mr. McGuire. My mother, whose father was British, would always have us wear orange with just a ribbon of green to save us. As kids and as Americans, we didn’t know anything about the actual “troubles” between the countries and religions and one didn’t risk anything more than a pinch for choosing the colors orange or green. The holiday was just about four-leaf clovers, leprechauns, and beer and ‘spirit’ companies. But, of course, it wasn’t. What we in the United States might see as a fun secular holiday, deals with something that is deadly serious and involves different denominations within God’s one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church getting drawn into their countries’ real aggression and violence. The “troubles” in Ireland were much more lethal than their prosaic name might suggest and much more complicated than those of us outside of the country can understand. It is about history. It is about injustice, atrocities, and fear. And wearing orange on this purportedly Irish holiday, as innocuous as that might sound, can seem to poke fun at or legitimize things that should not be treated as such. Perhaps more care should be taken.
As we approach Palm Sunday and we recall Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, we are also entering into a history of a people in a different place and time that we can never fully understand. So, as we read our scriptures for this Sunday perhaps more care should be taken with these readings as well. Many parts of the stories, that we might take as mere detail, are important. For example, we read in Mark 11:1—11 about how Jesus rode in on a donkey’s colt. The story is filled with the details of how Jesus told his disciples to procure the colt and how Jesus told them what to say if anyone should ask. This might just seem like an interesting tale, something that the disciples recalled to Jesus’ followers after his death and resurrection. But, why the disciples told this story was different and something that, in hindsight, they could understand in a way that they could not then. When Jesus asked for the colt of the donkey, it was in fulfillment of a prophecy of Zechariah (9:9).
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
The theologian Marcus Borg wrote of Jesus’ triumphal entry:
On Sunday, Palm Sunday, Jesus entered Jerusalem from the east in a procession riding on a donkey cheered by his followers. At the same time, a Roman imperial procession of troops and cavalry entered the city from the west, headed by Pilate. Their purpose was to reinforce the Roman garrison stationed near the temple for the season of Passover, when tens (hundreds?) of thousands of Jewish pilgrims filled the city.
The contrast between Jesus’ entry and the imperial entry sounds the central conflict that unfolds during the rest of the week. Jesus’ mode of entry was symbolic, signifying that the kingdom of which he spoke was a kingdom of peace. According to the prophet Zechariah, the king entering Jerusalem on a donkey was to banish the weapons of war from the land and speak peace to the nations. The kingdom of Rome on the other hand was based on violence and the threat of violence.
It is clear that Jesus pre-arranged this way of entering the city. In modern language, it was a planned political demonstration. Of course, it was also religious: Jesus did so because of his passion for God and the kingdom of God.
Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, then, was deeply symbolic to Jewish believers, whom Zechariah referred to as “prisoners of hope.” The crowd’s belief in its significance is evidenced by their throwing down their cloaks in front of him, a symbol of homage due a king, as well as their recitation of a part of Psalm 118. “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.” This Psalm would have been understood both as an entreaty for help (Hosanna means ‘save us’ in Hebrew) and a belief that God is already doing so (blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord).
As Christians we recognize Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem as the beginning of the end of Jesus’ ministry on earth and the beginning of a new life for those who believe in him; Christians. Yet, we need to remember that those who welcomed him into the City were Jews and that it is from the promise to the Jews that our salvation comes.
Around this time of year, with the reading of the Passion, we may get caught up in the story of those who shouted “Crucify him! Crucify him!” and see, rather like Americans donning orange or green, others instead of ourselves in this story. We might fail to see the role of the Roman government as they came to “maintain order and peace” in the City during the Passover and the fear of reprisals from the Jewish leadership should things get out of hand. Or maybe we fail to see the political and social forces at work that are compelling our youth and young adults to March for their Lives this Saturday. Their troubles at school are more dire than school colors or getting pinched. And their marching is more a procession than a parade. Perhaps if we can take more care in our reading of our religious history, we might be given eyes to see our role in our own history. Jesus Christ died to save the whole world – Jews, Christians, Roman Catholics, and Protestants. We are called to continue his work…”when the saints go marching in…”
Ruth Anne Garcia
We have some fantastic food traditions during Holy Week that we hope you can be a part of, regardless of whether you bring a dish to share or just show up. If you would like to help out by sharing a dish at any of the following events, just email Diane Carlisle at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Parish Office at 206-324-2573.
March 29 | 6:30 pm | Great Hall
The Agape Meal dates to apostolic times and celebrates our Christian love for each other. For this meal, we are asking for:
• Meatless Soup (5 pots)
• Bread & Cheese (3 loaves/blocks)
• Olives (3 plates)
• Fruit (3 plates)
• Grape Juice (3 bottles)
• Red Wine (5 bottles)
NO SWEETS please (saving that for the Vigil!)
Easter Vigil Reception
March 31 | after 8 pm service | Great Hall
After all the Alleluias and bell-ringing at the end of the Easter Vigil service, come to the Great Hall for a grand reception. Please sign up to bring:
• Wine (15 bottles)
• Sparkling Cider, Juice, or Sparkling Water (20 bottles)
• Dessert of the finger-food variety (10 dishes)
• Fruit (10 plates)
April 1 | 10 am | Great Hall
We are throwing open the doors of our church for parishioners and visitors alike. We are planning on serving:
• Quiche or Strata (20)
• Fruit Salad (10 dishes)
• Breakfast Bread (10 loaves)
If there is a special dish you associate with Easter, feel free to bring that too!
Palm Sunday – March 25
Holy Eucharist with the Liturgy of the Palms
7:30 (meet in Great Hall), 8:45, 11:00 am & 5:00 pm
(Nursery Care available 8:30 am to 12:15 pm)
– Arrive at church 10 minutes before the service to get a palm branch for the procession into the Church or Chapel.
– Bring a branch you have cut at home, if you prefer.
– Take some palm crosses home with you at the end of the service, to keep or deliver to a friend unable to attend church.
Monday – March 26
Stations of the Cross in the Chapel
Tuesday – March 27
Solemn Eucharist in the Chapel (with incense and bells)
Wednesday – March 28
Service in the style of Taizé in the Church
(Nursery Care available 7:15 to 9 pm)
Maundy Thursday – March 29
Agape Meal – 6:30 pm
Liturgy – 7:30 pm
(Nursery Care available 6:30 to 9 pm)
Watchnight Vigil – March 29
9 pm until noon the following day
– Sign up to bring something to the Agape meal: a meatless meal of soup, olives, cheese, fruit, and juices. No dessert, please.
– If you are planning to have your feet washed as part of the Maundy Thursday Liturgy, please be sure to wear shoes and socks that are easy to remove. No nylons, please.
– Sign up in the Narthex for an hour of prayer in the Chapel as we keep watch with Jesus throughout the night.
– Come hear (or participate in) Psalm Chanting in the Chapel beginning around 9:15 pm.
– Bring an icon to display in the Chapel. Make sure your name is attached. All icons will be moved to the Christie House Offfce at noon on Good Friday.
Good Friday – March 30
Liturgy – 7:30 pm (10:30 am Park Shore)
Sacrament of Reconciliation after the service
(Nursery Care available 7:15 to 9 pm)
– Fast until after the Good Friday Liturgy.
– Read the Gospels from The Saint John’s Bible in the Fireside Room – 11:00 am.
– Interactive Stations of the Cross for All Ages – 5 pm.
– Participate in the private and confidential Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) in the Church or Chapel after the 7:30 service.
The Easter Vigil – March 31
(Nursery Care available 7 to 10 pm)
NOTE: There will be incense at this service.
– Arrive early and meet in the Garden of Remembrance, east of the Chapel.
– Bring bells to ring when the Church erupts in Easter joy! Or borrow one from the Church.
Helps Kids Celebrate Easter!
Drop Off by March 25 at 11 am Service
Help YWCA shelter kids celebrate Easter by giving them an Easter basket!
You can purchase a pre-filled basket or fill one yourself with fun things like toys, candy, books, hygiene needs, socks, or learning supplies.
If you make your own please wrap it in cellophane so it will stay intact.
Baskets can be for any age, boy or girl (range $15 – $20). Each basket will make a difference to a child in need. Drop off by Sunday, March 25 at 11:00 am service.
Questions? Contact Sherilyn Peterson, email@example.com or (206) 322-2831.
We are having our Easter Egg Hunt on Holy Saturday! Invite your neighbors and friends to enjoy bagels and then scour the grounds for plastic eggs.
Gather at 9:30 am in the Great Hall for bagels and activities, followed by the hunt. Separate parts of the campus will be assigned to different age groups in the spirit of fun and fairness.
There’s Still Time to Donate the the Easter Flower Fund
This Easter Sunday, the highest celebration of our Christian year, you can remember a special person or event by donating towards our Altar Flower Fund. Perhaps you would like to acknowledge the birth of a baby, or a marriage, or a loved one now departed. You may donate towards one or more lilies, but you are not limited to Easter. Any date during the year we can decorate the altar with a floral arrangement on the Sunday closest to that date.
Complete the attached form and send your check to the church office or add it to the collection plate. Remember that during Advent and Lent only greens are used on the altar.
Thank you for your consideration of the Altar Flower Fund.
PLEASE COMPLETE THE ATTACHED FORM AND RETURN
TO THE CHURCH OFFICE BY WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28.
Marching For Our Lives
If you are planning to march and/or interested in marching with others in the Epiphany Parish/ Episcopal community to support our youth asking for gun reform on March 24th in the “March for Our Lives” Seattle please contact Ruth Anne (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Bailey Kimmel (email@example.com). If we have a group interested, we will have tentatively set two dates for poster making on March 18 and 23.
We Need Your Voice! Voices Wanted!
- If you are interested in participating in a different kind of musical event (with contemporary music) please contact Ruth Anne. One rehearsal only and lots of fun!
- Still have parts open for the Reading of the Passion Narrative at Park Shore on Good Friday @ 10:30 AM.
Please contact Ruth Anne @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you interested in Service and Outreach?
Do you have a suggestion or want information about just what it is that we do?
Our regular meeting is the second Sunday of each month, at 12:30 in the Christie House Library. April’s meeting is the 8th.
Please join us with questions, ideas, or if you just want to sit in to see what we are about. Contact Ann Beck for more information at email@example.com.
Gala Fundraising Concert & Dinner
April 22 | 6 pm | Chapel & Great Hall | Tickets $100.
Jeremy Bacon, Jazz Pianist
The Gala will be an evening of musical frivolity and exquisite food that helps support the Epiphany Seattle Music Guild. The purpose of the Music Guild is to raise funds and publicize Epiphany Seattle Music Guild programs and to support these free events.
For Gala tickets or to sponsor a music event click here.
SAVE THE DATE!
Epiphany Vacation Bible Camp
July 9-13, 2018 from 1-4 pm
For information click here.
Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday
The Liturgy of the Palms
or John 12:12-16
Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
The Liturgy of the Word
or Mark 15:1-39, [40-47]
Click here to view Prayer List