Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Today is Maundy Thursday
What Happened This Day?
From Bethany, Jesus sent two disciples ahead to the Upper Room in Jerusalem to make the preparations for the Passover Feast. That evening Jesus shared the Passover feast with his disciples, saying:
“I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”
He then took bread and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.”
In John’s Gospel the final meal is not the Passover and Jesus does not institute Holy Communion. Instead Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and gave them a new commandment: “that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Later, Jesus and the disciples went to Gethsemane, where Jesus asked them to keep watch, while he went off alone and prayed. Here Jesus was betrayed by Judas and arrested. He was taken to Caiaphas the high priest, and the whole council gathered to begin making their case against him.
Meanwhile, in the early morning hours, as Jesus’ trial was getting underway, before the cock crowed, Peter denied knowing Jesus three times.
Thursday’s events are recorded in Matthew 26:17–75, Mark 14:12-72, Luke 22:7-62, and John 13:1-38, 18:1-27.
The term ‘Maundy Thursday’ is derived from the Latin mandatum (mandate), the first word of the phrase ‘Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos’ (A new commandment I give you: That you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another).
Humbly I adore thee, Verity unseen,
who thy glory hiddest ‘neath these shadows mean;
low, to thee surrendered, my whole heart is bowed,
tranced as it beholds thee, shrined within the cloud.
Taste and touch and vision to discern thee fail;
faith, that comes by hearing, pierces through the veil.
I believe whate’re the Son of God hath told;
what the Truth hath spoken, that for truth I hold.
O memorial wondrous of the Lord’s own death;
living Bread that givest all thy creatures breath,
grant my spirit ever by thy life may live,
to my taste thy sweetness never failing give.
Jesus, whom now hidden, I by faith behold,
what my soul doth long for, that thy word foretold:
face to face thy splendor, I at last shall see,
in the glorious vision, blessed Lord, of thee.
– Thomas Aquinas, 1274
Thomas Aquinas was the most distinguished theologian among the Dominicans. His Summa Theologia was the most complete work of systematic theology the Church had ever known. It teaches the importance of petition (asking God for gifts and virtues), which, Aquinas taught, should be short and frequent. Aquinas was also devoted to the sacrament of the Eucharist, and compiled a complete liturgy for the feast of Corpus Christi in honor of the sacramental Body of Christ.
From Our Prayers of the People
For the special needs and concerns of our congregation.
We remember people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, especially refugees and all victims of violence and oppression.
For the just and proper use of your creation: for the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.
For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus: for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, and for those administering the vaccination, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.
For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.
For all historical acts of injustice and oppression: especially those perpetuated against native, Black, Hispanic and various Asian Americans in this abundant land, that we may recognize racism in ourselves, in our church, in our society, and the times we have failed to take action.
For those on the Parish Prayer Chain: Mary, Bill, Mary Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane and Bruce, John, Audrey, Marissa, Melanie, Joe.
For those who are homebound: Joan, Janet and Marilyn.
For our Government Leaders: Joseph Biden, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady.
For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; James and Dennie, our priests; Pat, our deacon emeritus and Allison, our Lay Reader.
For those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.
For Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Eunice, Marilyn, Priscilla, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.
For Vicki, Patricia & Joan – today is their baptismal anniversary!
For Paul & Harper – today is their birthday!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Bath & Wells – The Church of England (Canterbury Province).
For all who have died: Clark, Sara, William, Emma, Dorothy.
For one another.
Something to share
A Ballad of Trees and the Master
Into the woods my Master went,
Clean forspent, forspent.
Into the woods my Master came,
Forspent with love and shame.
But the olives they were not blind to Him,
The Little gray leaves were kind to Him:
The thorn-tree had a mind to Him
When into the woods He came.
Out of the woods my Master went,
And he was well content.
Out of the woods my Master came,
Content with death and shame.
When Death and Shame would woo Him last,
From under the trees they drew Him last:
Twas on a tree they slew Him – last
When out of the woods He came.
– Sidney Lanier
News and Updates
Holy Week Schedule
Maundy Thursday – April 1, 2021
Maundy Thursday Liturgy video:
Music for Maundy Thursday: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PadHZGleKPUSNb_CZDUyuGo5mQMwOIgP_IRTveCd_fs/edit?usp=sharing
Maundy Thursday Readings: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_iOS6ekmhryn5scMF46G1DgytZvhSynptk8fsa26KaE/edit?usp=sharing
National Cathedral Maundy Thursday Liturgy:
Maundy Thursday Home Vigil Sign-up:
Good Friday – April 2, 2021
9:00 am Morning Prayer on Zoom
Any time – Stations of the Cross Slideshow
Any time – Good Friday Prayer Slideshow
Any time – Lessons & Prayers Video on YouTube
Easter Vigil –April 3, 2021
9:00 am Morning Prayer on Zoom
Any time – Lighting of the first fire,
Renewal of Baptismal vows
and Hebrew response Slideshow
Any time – Vigil Liturgy Video on YouTube
Easter Day – April 4, 2021
8:00 am Morning Prayer on Zoom
9:00 am Eucharist live on Facebook
If you have an update/news, a prayer or poem or something inspirational you would like us to share with the congregation, please send it to us. Please also send us any prayer requests. We will incorporate these into the Morning Prayers as best we can: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning. Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided. (contact Becky for the link: email@example.com).
If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer.
Our church campus is only partially open due to the current pandemic. Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled or postponed until further notice.
Our office email is: email@example.com.
We continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html and the NY Department of Public Health https://www.health.ny.gov/ for information, updates, and guidance
Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. It is critical to discern what and how something is said as well as what is not said. And, God forbid, always remember – any online or texted-based solicitation from me for money is A SCAM. Do not reply to such messages. Delete them.
Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected in this time of isolation.
Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be at your back,
May the sun shine upon your face,
he rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.