Dynamic Downtown Worship in the Anglican Tradition
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Holy Week Reflections from the Rector

The Friday Night Scream

It all became real on Friday night. Yes, Good Friday during the Oratorio of the “7 Last Words of Jesus” by Thomas Dubois. The St. Michael’s Choir and instruments led by Organist Matthew Wilkinson were stupendous. But toward the end as the choir led into a crescendo of “It Is Finished” Matthew in a stroke of genius turned off the organ while keeping his feet and fingers on pedals and keys.  

The sound was unlike anything I’ve ever heard in our sanctuary or anywhere else. It was a literal organ scream. Because Matthew kept hands and feet on pedals and keys while turning off the blowers, it created a sound similar to a bagpipe with a deflated air gasket. It was a ghastly sound, that combined with the lights turning off, produced the unmistakable feeling that, indeed, it was all finished. That moment in itself from the empty tomb of our sanctuary made Easter Sunday even more magnificent.  

The contrast was almost too much to bear. Such was the rich tapestry of Holy Week, including Good Friday. Good Friday began with several hundred of us processing through our city streets between two crosses, a bagpiper, drummer, and violinist, recounting in word, song, and prayer the story of the crucifixion. From that procession at noon to the equally powerful but different liturgy of the nails at 3:00 pm and a fantastic sermon by the Rev. David Booman, which led into the Oratorio at 7:00 pm.

Many thanks to the literal hundreds of volunteers who made Holy Week so powerful.  Please, mark your calendars now for Holy Week 2018 … March 25 – March 31, 2018.

Trish McGuinn, Arthur Bailey and Angela Stanley

These three St. Michaelites are some of the most inspiring folks you may ever meet!  Many many thanks to these three who make such intense seasons as Holy Week seamless! Trish McGuinn is our verger (Anglican jingo for someone who helps arrange details of worship) and rallied every volunteer slot for everything regarding worship over Holy Week.  That’s 16 services requiring ushers, greeters, readers, acolytes, passion actors,  lay Eucharistic Ministers…  I’m somewhat afraid to see how many hours Trish put in over those 7 days.  

Of course Trish is our year round verger, so doing such ministry is nothing new; however, Holy Week is the most intense week of them all.  Then there is Arthur and Angela. They are the dynamic duo that take care of everything from Facilities to cooking dinners! Yes, Angela cooked for around 300 children and adults during the Road to Resurrection on Wednesday during Holy Week.  Please give these three hugs when you see them. We are grateful!

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