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Showing posts from March, 2017

Maundy Thursday, 13 April 2017

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Maundy Thursday, 13 April 2017 Exodus 12:1-4, (5-10) 11-14 Psalm 116:1, 10-17 I Corinthians 11:23-26 Saint John 13:1-17, 31b-35


Background: Passover
Like a great number of religious rites and festivals, Passover has a history that discloses several more ancient usages and meanings. It is thought that the festival is the descendant of an ancient nomadic feast, the Shepherd’s Rite, and a Canaanite agricultural feast. In Exodus 5:1, and 10:9 we have some evidence of a rite that precedes the Passover celebration that we know from later in Exodus. Combined with these two roots is also the Feast of Unleavened Bread (see Deuteronomy 16:16), probably the oldest of the festivals in the liturgical calendar. Some commentators see the original locus of the Passover rites as being in the home itself. Later, under the reforms of Josiah, and the Deuteronomic school, the celebrations may have been combined into a feast that was celebrated by both home and nation. As a national celebration these rites are a…

The Sunday of the Passion - Palm Sunday, 9 April 2017

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The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday, 9 April 2017 The Liturgy of the Palms Matthew 21:1-11 Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
The Liturgy of the Word Isaiah 50:4-9a Psalm 31:9-16 Philippians 2:5-11 Saint Matthew 26:14 – 27:66


Background: Passion Sunday
In searching for materials that describe the intents and foundations of this Sunday, the Sunday of the Passion, I came across an article published in The Christian Century, by Karoline M. Lewis, entitled “Against Passion Sunday.” In her arguments for the suppression of the Passion Narrative on “Palm Sunday”, she notes something that I think is very important, and that may argue against her stance here: “What is Passion Sunday’s theological raison d’ĂȘtre?”[1] Perhaps the answer to her question is that the theological purpose of the day is to acquaint the believer with the whole spectrum of emotion that is wrapped up in a single liturgy.In his wonderful article in the New York Times, Peter Wehner, outlines this same purpose in “After Great Pain, Where is God?…