From the Very Rev. Sam Candler
Grace to you, and peace, more and more peace! in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Today is Wednesday in Holy Week, April 8, in the year 2020, and I deliver Parish Notices again today, updates and information about the Cathedral Parish of St. Philip in Atlanta.
Wow. What a week this is. Still, in the midst of quarantine and pandemic and social distance and care, as the Church observes Holy Week with honor and glory, I have one thing to say:
“Thank you!” For me, those are the most important words of this week, Holy Week in the year 2020, the year of the Pandemic. Thank you. Not “thank you!” to the virus, of course! But “Thank You” to you, the faithful parishioners and friends and wider community of the Cathedral of St. Philip.
Thank you for staying strong and safe. Thank you for staying connected to each other! Thank you for staying connected to the various opportunities and messages and services of the Cathedral. Thank you for reaching out to the clergy and staff of the Cathedral! Thank you for continuing your meetings and disciplines and commitments (in social distance!).
Many of you have reached out with offers to help. Some of you have contributed extra money in this time. Some of you have increased your pledges! Thank you! You have been caring and thoughtful and generous and faithful people of God.
Thank you to incredibly brave medical caregivers! Thank you to so many grocery store suppliers and cashiers and workers! Thank you to the truck drivers! Thank you to the delivery persons! Thank you to the bankers and elected representatives! Thank you to the restaurant workers, too. Thank you to police officers and public safety officials. Thank you. Thank you, whoever you are, you person of good faith and good will!
Thank you to those of you who smile at each other, as we walk down the street (in social distance!). Thank you for your internal patience and faith. Thank you for staying calm in your crowded households. Thank you for giving the people who live with you a break. Thank you for spreading peace.
Yes, the virus is contagious, as we recognized in the beginning. But there are so many more powerful things that are more contagious! Peace is contagious! Love is contagious! Patience is contagious! Thank you for spreading love and patience in this time! Thanks itself is contagious! Give thanks to someone this week!
Most of you know our routines now, especially if you are watching this video. The Cathedral is offering daily midday meditations online, at 12:15 pm. And all our major services are online.
Tomorrow’s Maundy Thursday service will feature George Maxwell as preacher; and Lauren Holder will celebrate the Maundy Thursday Holy Eucharist in a very different way –from her home and family! That service is at 7:00 pm.
Our Good Friday Liturgy will be online at 12:00 noon, and at 7:00 pm on Friday. Canon George Maxwell will officiate, and I will preach the sermon – from my home. That sermon will also be available, by itself, throughout this week, online. Its title is this: “The Good Friday Resurrection Starts Inside Us.”
Our Easter service will be online at 6:00 am, 8:45 am, and at 11:15 am – just as always. Bishop Wright will preach, but our service will be quite different. We will light the Easter Fire from our homes, and we will sprinkle holy water from our homes. Here is an important notice: please take a photograph of yourself, or your household, with a lighted candle! We want to see your faces with candles! Second, take a photograph of yourself with a branch, or hand, sprinkling water! We will try to include those photographs in our Easter service, and they will be glorious!
Wow. What else?
This Holy Week ends this Sunday with Easter, and we are distant from one another. But wherever we are, separated as we are, we will be together in Christ. We will be one in the Body of Christ. On Sunday, I intend to give thanks for the glory of God shining in you, God’s people of power and new life!
Let us Bless the Lord!
Thanks be to God!