1. Holy Week and Easter 2009
My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This Eastertide let us together reflect on what Easter means in our lives
‐ right now, right here in Bennington. I take my cue from the final line of
one of my favorite poems, Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
by Kentucky farmer, novelist and poet Wendell Berry ‐ “Practice
Resurrection.” How do we “practice Resurrection” in our daily lives?
Resurrection has a lot more to do with what we do than what we think.
Jesus did not want people to just believe in him; he wanted
people to follow in his way of radical love and non‐violent resistance to
evil. Even when faced with a horrible death on the cross, he would not
turn back from this way, even to save his own life. When Jesus was
about to be arrested, one of Jesus’ followers pulled out a sword,
attacked and injured one of those who had come to arrest Jesus. Jesus
rebuked him saying, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who
takes the sword will perish by the sword. Do you not think that I can
appeal to my Father and he will at once send me a vast army of angels?”
(Matthew 26:52‐53) Jesus was clear that his purpose was not to
continue the long, bloody, violent history of humankind, but to change
history entirely and offer a radical new model of hope, love and justice
Jesus still offers that alternative today. The alternative is to be
crazy enough to follow God. As Berry writes in “Manifesto,” “So friends,
every day do something that won’t compute. Love the Lord. Love the world… Laugh‐ laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful though
you have considered all the facts.”
In the midst of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote that faith is not about
having all the facts. It is about being joyful though you have considered all the facts. He preached,
“If it weren't for faith, I would have given up long ago. I am certain lots of us would have been hate‐filled and
bitter…. In the middle of our faith is the death and resurrection. Nothing could have been more hopeless than
Good Friday ‐ but then Easter happened, and forever we have become prisoners of hope….”1
To be a prisoner of hope is to practice Resurrection, fearless for the sake of following the Gospel imperative to bring light, joy,
love and peace into the world, gifts Jesus left for all his disciples.
These great 50 days of Easter let us dream of new ways to bring the power of God’s love and energy into this world.
Then, let us practice these dreams in our daily lives. By our actions let us demonstrate Resurrection, showing our neighbors here
and around the world, that death in all its forms is not the final word. Death could not hold Jesus. May his Resurrection
empower us to practice Resurrection – this and every day.
The Rev. Anita Louise Schell‐Lambert
“Prisoners of Hope, An interview with Desmond Tutu” by the editors of Sojourners, Sojourners Magazine, February 1985 in Kyle
Childress, The Shepherd’s Staff newsletter, March 2005, in Practice Resurrection, Lanny Peters Oakhurst Baptist Church, Decatur,
Georgia, Easter Sunday, March 27,2005.
2. Journey from Despair to Hope: Palm Sunday to the Day of Resurrection
From the Palms to the Empty Tomb: One day at a time
You will find here information on the most important week and day of our life together as Christians ‐ Holy Week and Easter. As
the forty days of Lent intentionally parallel Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness, the liturgies of Holy Week deliberately reconstruct
for us the final events of Jesus’ life. Please plan to observe with me the entire week. From the triumph of Palm Sunday, to the
shadows of the Tenebrae service, to the watch in the garden of Gethsemane, to the cross of Good Friday, the Vigil of Easter and
the joy of Easter morn, we will observe the spectrum of human emotion and devotion in our Holy Week and Easter liturgies. We
need the practices of the week – the palms, the oil, the water, the bread and wine of the Eucharist, the watch of Gethsemane,
the wooden cross of Good Friday, the fire and baptism of the Easter Vigil, to get us to the heart of the church, the Paschal
Mystery, which explodes on Easter morn. Walk with me and fellow seekers at St. Peter’s during Holy Week and Easter. For more
please call us at the office, 442‐2911.
SUNDAY OF THE PASSION, April 5 ‐ The dramatic reading of the Passion will be a part of the liturgies at the 8 and 10 AM services.
A Palm Sunday Pancake breakfast, this year hosted by Wynn Metcalfe and his crew, will be a wonderful time for fellowship
between the 8 and 10 AM Sunday liturgies. Breakfast will be served between 8:30 – 9:30 AM. Volunteers to assist Wynn are
Monday – Friday, April 6 –10 ‐ Morning Prayer will be said in the Lady Chapel 8 – 8:30 AM
(Friday it will be said in the Guild Room).
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, April, 6,7 and 8 ‐ Holy Eucharist, Rite 1, will be celebrated in the Lady Chapel, 12 Noon.
Tuesday, April 7 ‐ Taizé service in the church, 7 PM.
Wednesday, April 8 ‐ Tenebrae service in the church, 7 PM.
Thursday, April 9 ‐ Maundy Thursday ‐ The Holy Eucharist, Rite 2 will be celebrated in the Lady Chapel, 10 AM.
Thursday, April 9‐ Maundy Thursday liturgy with foot washing, the Holy Eucharist and Procession of the Blessed Sacrament to
the Lady Chapel, Stripping of the Altar, and Vigil in the Lady Chapel, 7 PM.
Keep watch with us in Vigil in the Lady Chapel. Please select an hour to keep watch in the Lady Chapel. The Vigil signup sheet is
posted on the bulletin board in the parish hallway.
GOOD FRIDAY, April 10 ‐ Stations of the Cross led by Deacon Penny Hawkins, 12Noon.
GOOD FRIDAY, April 10 ‐ Good Friday Liturgy includes the adult choir, hymns, organ music and sermon by Bain Davis,
Bennington Friends Meeting, 7 PM.
HOLY SATURDAY and EASTER EVE, April 11 ‐ The Great Vigil of Easter will include music and the adult choir, hymns, organ
music, baptism and the Eucharist. Please note, as has become our custom, this service will also include the use of incense, 7 PM.
SUNDAY OF THE RESURRECTION, April 12 ‐ Holy Eucharist, Rite 1, with hymns and organ music, 8 AM.
SUNDAY OF THE RESURRECTION, April 12 ‐ Holy Eucharist, Rite 2, with hymns, organ music and choir, 10 AM.
SUNDAY OF THE RESURRECTION, April 12 ‐ Holy Eucharist, Contemporary Liturgy, with Contemporary Ensemble in the Lady
Chapel, 5 PM.
As always we welcome all to our services. You are encouraged to bring new and long time friends to be with us at St. Peter’s.