The psalmist says that “weeping may spend the night, but joy comes in the morning!” (Ps. 30:5) And there is no more joyous morning for Christian people than this morning, the morning of Resurrection!
Through Lent and Holy Week, we have symbolically passed through a “night of weeping” in which we followed Jesus on the Way of suffering and death so that we might share with him the joy that comes on this morning! We are disciples of this Way that he both lived and taught – the way of dying and rising. We have identified ourselves with him, and with this Way – and we have found it to be the Way that leads to Life! Continue reading →
Today is the glorious culmination of these days of Holy Week. Today, our Lord Jesus Christ has been raised gloriously from the dead. Alleluia!
It was still very early in the morning, Luke tells us, with just the first streaks of dawn, when Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James and the other women, came to the tomb in order to carry out the last offices of love for their beloved Jesus, and to embalm his body with their spices.
But, to their amazement, when they got to the tomb, they found that the stone had been rolled away. They looked inside and the body was gone. Continue reading →
Love the emptiness. If you do not have space in your soul – if you keep yourself filled on food or constant activity or ever-new ideas– your desire will be blunted or even perverted. We have been created with the gift of desire, to long for, to anticipate.
Click on the player above to hear the recording.
The Passion Gospel is sung by:
Br. Jim Woodrum (Narrator)
Andrew Sinnes, SSJE Intern (Jesus)
Noah Van Niel (Pontius Pilate, the crowd, and other voices)
After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. Continue reading →
Tonight we are remembering the words and example of Jesus at his last. What we do with the water basin for washing feet and at the altar for receiving the bread and wine, we do “in remembrance” of Christ (1). The Greek sense of this word “remember” is not so much to jog the memory, like tying a string to our finger so we don’t forget what Jesus said. No, it’s a much more profound remembering. It’s to remember like a surgeon “re-members,” when a surgeon re-attaches and sutures some membrane of the body that has been severed. It’s to take something that otherwise would be cut off, broken, lost, detached from our own life, in our relationship with God, to be reattached, reconnected, remembered. To re-member or be remembered in this way is to quite literally get in touch with Jesus, and at the deepest possible level. Continue reading →
To view photos from Maundy Thursday 2012 at the Monastery click here.
Maundy Thursday marks the beginning of the holiest three days in an already holy week. The liturgies of the so-called Triduum (from the Latin meaning ‘three days’) are in actuality one liturgy beginning with the Maundy Thursday eucharist and foot washing, continuing on Good Friday with the veneration of the cross and communion from bread and wine consecrated on Thursday, and culminating with the renewal of our baptismal vows and the first eucharist of the resurrection at the Great Vigil of Easter. Once we commence with worship on Maundy Thursday, we are not formally dismissed until Easter Day. The liturgy of Maundy Thursday commemorates the humility of the Lord in his willingness to do the most lowly of tasks. The word ‘maundy’ is an English corruption of the Latin mandatum, from the ‘new commandment’ that Jesus gives his disciples after washing their feet. In our re-enactment and remembrance of that event, the Superior washes the feet of members of the community, who in turn wash the feet of other community members, who in turn wash the feet of the gathered congregation, who in turn wash the feet of one another. At the conclusion of our eucharistic feast, we are invited, as were the first disciples, to watch and pray with the Lord on the night before his crucifixion and death. Consecrated bread and wine will be removed to the Lady Chapel, and the brothers will keep watch through the night. Any and all are welcome to join us, for as long or as little time as is possible. It is a solemn, sober, and somber night – for we know what the first disciples did not: that Jesus will soon be arrested, tried unjustly, and put to death. Accordingly the church is quietly stripped of all adornment, and the organ and all the bells of the monastery are silenced until the Great Vigil of Easter.
The service of Tenebrae is a choral offering by the Community, with chanted psalms and canticles set to plainsong, chanted lessons from the Lamentations of Jeremiah (in which each verse is introduced by a letter of the Hebrew alphabet), and responsories set to harmonized Anglican chant.
Listen to the Lamentations by clicking on the links below:
The evening service of Tenebrae (from the Latin for shadows or darkness) is a service that derives from the ancient monastic services of matins and lauds. The most conspicuous visual aspect of the liturgy is the use of darkness and the gradual extinguishing of candles, until only a single candle remains, a symbol of our Lord. The service provides an opportunity for sustained reflection on Jesus’ suffering and death.
Take up these symbols of the new life: towel and basin and water. Let them be for you a sign of your love for him and your gratitude for all that he has done for you. Let them be for you a pledge of your commitment to serve – not out of duty, but out of love; not to obtain a reward, but to imitate the One who freely and willingly laid down his life for you. Let them be for you a reminder of your true vocation.
“After he had received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “Do quickly what you are going to do.” (1)
There is sad irony that Christ’s crucifixion has served to set-up new victims even after the sacrifice of the ultimate victim. Finding scapegoats has a long and shameful history. For centuries, humanity has tried to find someone to blame for what we cannot fathom or comprehend. It seems to me that when we think of the crucifixion we often try to understand who should take the blame: whether the proverbial “Jews” of John’s gospel, the Romans, the chief priests and the elders, the Pharisees, or maybe, today, we can blame Judas. Continue reading →
There is something about our suffering in life – what we would not have chosen but cannot avoid – when we say “yes” to God, when we show ourselves ready to bear our suffering before God, that opens the door for transformation, for consecration. There is something about facing the dark night that allows us to see the dawning of joy.
Isaiah 49: 1-7 Psalm 71: 1-14 I Corinthians 1: 18-31 John 12: 20-36
I’ll tell you a secret about me. Maybe those of you who have listened to me over the years can guess what it might be, but maybe not. It is not some earth shattering secret. I am not about to tell you some deep dark secret from my past. Rather it is about the way I approach scripture, and increasingly the way I approach life. Continue reading →
We lift our hearts to God in whatever state they are in. If our hearts are happy, we lift them to the Lord. If our hearts are broken or heavy with grief, we lift them to the Lord. If our hearts are anxious or afraid, we lift them to the Lord. We “come as we are” to this place.
During this week, these last days of our Lord’s life, we try to enter imaginatively into the story of Christ’s passion, to try, each one of us, to feel the weight of the cross, to understand a little of the immensity of God’s sacrifice for us, and the immensity of God’s love for us.
Here we kneel at the tomb once more, watching, waiting, numb and grieving. We stare at love embodied and remember love received. Our song is love unknown, our Savior’s love—to you, to me—love to the loveless shown that we might lovely be.
Love shown to a woman crippled 18 years. Jesus called, healed and set her free. That we might lovely be. Continue reading →