March 21, 2015

My sisters and brothers in Christ:

I write on the day after the vernal equinox, when day and night have the same duration all over the world. On the Sunday after the the next full moon, we celebrate the Resurrection (unless the full moon occurs on a Sunday, in which case Easter’s the Sunday after that). So what’s the earliest Easter can be? Since the church uses March 21 as the date of the equinox, the earliest possible Easter is March 22, which happened in 1761 and 1818. You may remember our March 23 Easter six years ago. In 2000, we had to wait until April 23.

Don’t you just love church? Who else is making key scheduling decisions according to the dictates of the Synod of Whitby in 664?

  • Next Sunday, March 29 is Palm and Passion Sunday, with identical services at 8 and 10 a.m. (There will be no service on Saturday, March 28.);
  • Stations of the Cross, with John Gregorious on guitar, on Wednesday, April 1 at 7 p.m.;
  • Maundy Thursday, including the stripping of the altar by the St. John’s Altar Guild, on April 2 at 7 p.m.;
  • Our unique and deeply moving Good Friday service on April 3 at 7 p.m.;
  • The Great Vigil of Easter, traditionally the most important service of the church year, featuring the youth of St. John’s in a service unlike any in Christendom, on Saturday, April 4 at 7 p.m.
  • This year, we have a good Anglican middle way Easter: Sunday, April 5, with identical festive choral Holy Eucharist services at St. John’s at 8 and 10 a.m. (though the 8 a.m. service is incense-free).

You’ll find a complete guide to Holy Week and Easter tucked inside your bulletins this weekend, when we worship as usual: Our convenient community Holy Eucharist service tonight (Saturday, March 21) at 5 p.m. and then at 8 and 10 a.m. Sunday, when we’ll talk about how our LORD revealed the date of the first Easter (he said, “The hour has come for the son of man to be glorified”).
This Sunday, March 22, 2015 Andy Guilford will lead the fourth and last conversation in our “Lenten Search for God at the Movies” series. His choice:Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.” All are welcome at 9 a.m. in the Bishop’s Room. (In 2001, Easter was on April 15.)

Please remember to give us your Easter flower instructions this weekend, buy your Easter See’s candy, pick up your Easter is for All at St. John’s bumper sticker, and pick your one-hour slot for the all-night prayer vigil beginning at 8 p.m. on Maundy Thursday.

Finally, all those at St. John’s Church who are not attending the St. John’s School annual gala are invited to a performance by the Cornell University Chorus at St. John’s next Saturday, March 28 at 7 p.m. Elements of this premier treble choir, comprising 50 women, are in the midst of their spring tour. Our own Devon England is a former member. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and are available at the door. Details are in the attached flier.

Yours in Christ’s love and the Lenten Way,

Fr. John

P.S.: The St. John’s twentysomethings meet this Sunday after the second service, about 11:45 a.m., in the Lowe’s Center Starbucks. Kathy O’Connor and I really look forward to our conversations with these amazing young people. Please join us, and tell your friends.

P.P.S.: I’ll reprise a photo show about my recent Mexico pilgrimage next Sunday, March 29 in the Bishop’s Room, also around 11:45 a.m. The photos and story, plus your questions, will take about a half hour.