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  • Writer's pictureThe Rev. Beth Knowlton

Walking Together

“Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.” From Hebrews 12:1-3. Appointed for Wednesday in Holy Week

This Palm Sunday felt so joyful as we gathered in Travis Park with Jenny the donkey and bagpipes. The assembly’s joyful proclamations of Hosanna changed to shouting for the death of Jesus as we read the story of The Passion. The Passiontide Lessons and Carols service was a beautiful, meditative moment before entering the space of these holy days.


I often say it was the Holy Week liturgies that fully converted me to becoming an Episcopalian. For years I sang in my parish choir; the more deeply we sang and worshiped together, the more my faith became a tangible resource I could draw from. There is no aspect of human nature that is not represented these days. Betrayal and loyalty; ambiguity and certainty; joy and sorrow; faith and despair. We witness healthy community life and also the pain of isolation. These things move us toward the joy of Easter morning when we gather and declare our hope in what was thought impossible. New life! Resurrection! 


This Wednesday in Holy Week we are called to remember the great cloud of witnesses that we walk, sing, pray, and work alongside in our faith journey. The Triduum - which are the powerful liturgies of Maundy Thursday through Easter Day -  are meant to be a walk we take with one another and all those who have gone before. The words are timeless, and the rhythms are grounding. Reminding us of who came before sets our own struggles in the context of the fullness of human history. It helps us make the turn toward real hope and joy.


I am grateful for the faithful witness of our staff and many volunteers – facilities and the kitchen, the choirs, the altar guild, ushers, greeters, readers, and Eucharistic Ministers name only a few of many who make these services not only possible but appear seamless.


So come this week and be reminded of the great promise we have in the resurrection; it is the source of our joy and our hope. Make time to worship and gather. I promise, when you fully enter these days, your Alleluias on Easter Day will be even more filled with the promise of new life.

Peace, Beth +


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