My sisters and brothers in Christ:
Let us prepare to shout for joy, to express adulation – to sing “Hosanna” – this Sunday, April 9, Palm and Passion Sunday at St. John’s and around the world. We’ll worship in two identical services, at 8 and 10 a.m., beginning in the courtyard for a choral anthem and prayers and then undertaking our pilgrim procession into and around the church, commemorating Jesus Christ’s entry into Jerusalem.
Look for ushers and St. John’s youth outside on Sunday, handing out bulletins, palm fronds, and the palm crosses our young people made on Wednesday evening. When you’re done with the crosses, since they will have been blessed during the service, the appropriate steps are to bury or burn them (or, as I have with a couple of crosses I got in church in Detroit in the 1960s, put them in your Bible or prayer book and save them basically forever).
Palm and Passion Sunday begins a solemn walk toward Calvary and the Cross that continues with the Stations of the Cross on Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and the stripping of the altar, and Good Friday. All of these services are at 7 p.m. Our first Easter service is the Great Vigil on Saturday, April 15 at 7 p.m., featuring the youth of St. John’s. On Easter Sunday, we worship at 8 a.m. (no incense) and 10 a.m. (incense!), offering identical liturgies, each featuring glorious music, including Handel’s “Hallelujah” with the congregations joining in.
And don’t forget to bring flowers from home on Easter morning for the world-famous St. John’s flowering cross. Kathe Hayden will have flowers on hand for you to use as well.
All our Holy Week and Easter services are described in the attached flier (click). Please consider sharing it with family and friends, because, as always, Easter is for All at St. John’s. (There will be no service on Saturday, April 8.)
We need your instructions for Easter flowers – memorials and thanksgivings – by this Sunday. Look for the special envelope in the narthex. The suggested donation is $50. We can also use a few more signups for the all-night prayer vigil, beginning after the Maundy Thursday service and continuing through noon on Good Friday. Contact Linda Allport at (949) 858-5354 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and to see which slots are still open.
Finally, please consider beginning your Holy Week with an act of mercy or service. For example, St. John’s will again serve breakfast to the clients of Isaiah House, which offers shelter and assistance to homeless women, this Saturday (April 8) at 9:30 a.m. If you can help, please contact ministry leader Emily Salvanera at email@example.com so she can make plans for the morning’s breakfast. Then join your St. John’s friends at Catholic Worker’s Isaiah House, 316 South Cypress Ave., Santa Ana.
Yours in Christ’s love and our endless Hosanna!,
P.S.: This year’s St. John’s Vacation Bible School — Maker Fun Factory: Created by God, Built for aa Purpose, a theme a STEAM school such as ours will love — will be held Monday-Friday, June 199″•23 from 9 a.m.-noon. VBS is open to children age four years old (as of May 1, 2017) through present 4th graders. Present 5th graders through young adults are invited to register as volunteer crew leaders. The VBS registration fee is $50 per participant (and $25 for crew leaders) and includes a VBS t-shirt, games, crafts, snacks, and fun. VBS registration for all participants and volunteers is online at www.stjohnsrsm.org, Please look for the Maker Fun Factory logo, or click now, and register your student today.