A Note from the Rector – 6/2/19

Today is the last Sunday in Easter, the 43rd day of the Great 50 days of Easter.  You will have noticed the large candle with the symbols and the date on it, which has been prominently burning on the steps the near the pulpit during our worship.  This the Paschal candle.  “Paschal” comes from the Greek word “Pascha,” the term for Easter used in much of non-English speaking Christianity, which literally means Passover.  The Paschal Candle is a lovely symbolic tradition.  In general, candles in church are symbolic of presence.  The candles on and behind the altar anticipate and honor Christ who is made present to us on that table in the Bread and the Wine. The candle that always burns before the Reserved Sacrament to the right of our altar again represents the belief that Christ is truly present in the Sacrament.  The small candles we light in prayer near the pulpit represent our own presence before God in prayer and supplication; they are a visual reminder that God sees us as we are, hears our prayers, and offers God’s presence in response. 

The Paschal candle represents Christ’s post-Resurrection presence with his disciples in the 40 days after Easter. The candle is blessed at the Easter vigil and lit in near darkness, representing the light of Christ’s life rekindled in the darkness of the grave.  The Paschal candle is then lit at every service from Easter until the Feast of the Ascension when Christ ascends to heaven (but we are extending its use until today: the Sunday after the Ascension).  The Paschal candle is lit again whenever there is a baptism or a funeral.  It is meant to remind us that in baptism we are joined with Christ in his death and resurrection, and that Christ is present with us always. At funerals the Paschal candle reminds us that Christ’s resurrection is a promise to us that our own death is not the end, and that we will always be in the loving care of the Resurrected Jesus. 

Our Paschal candle has been recycled for a few years now, and it is burning low.  Next Easter, it will be time to replace it.  If you would like to contribute something toward a new Paschal Candle please contact Patty Wertz, the Altar Guild president.  A Paschal candle is traditionally made out of beeswax (or least 51% beeswax), and they cost around $200-$400.  This request is not made in desperation, Altar Guild members have been excellent stewards of their funds over the years and there is money enough to buy what we need for the church’s worship.  However, contributing toward a new Paschal candle would be a meaningful and beautiful way to honor a person you love who has died in the hope of the Resurrection, and that is why I am offer the opportunity to contribute.  

This Week at Holy Apostles – 4/14/19

Holy Week and Easter Day

Palm Sunday – April 14
            
Morning Prayer – 8:30AM
            
Holy Eucharist with Blessing of the Palms, Procession, and Passion Reading – 10AM

Tuesday –  April 16
Morning Prayer – 9:15AM

Wednesday – April 17
Morning Prayer – 9:15AM
Tenebrae – A service of readings and growing darkness 6:30PM

Maundy Thursday – April 18
Morning Prayer – 9:15AM
Agape Meal, Holy Eucharist & the Stripping of the Altar – 6:30PM
The Altar of Repose—from 9PM-9AM Friday

Good Friday – April 19
Morning Prayer – 9:15AM
Children’s Stations of the Cross 10AM
Egg decorating at the Rectory (children of all ages invited) – 11AM
Good Friday Service – 12PM
Good Friday Liturgy – 6:30PM

Holy Saturday – April 20
Easter Vigil followed by Champagne Reception – 8PM

Easter Sunday – April 21
Morning Prayer 8:30AM
Festival Choral Eucharist with Baptism – 10AM

Easter Egg follows Easter service!

Announcements – 4/14/19

Worship

† The service this morning will begin in the Parish Hall with the blessing of the Palms. 

† Easter Sunday will truly be a joyful day as we celebrate the Christ’s victory over death and welcome through baptism Maxwell Wagner into the body of Christ.  Max is the son of David Wagner and Jennifer Sibley Wagner. 

† Healing Prayers will be offered the second Sunday of Easter, April 28th. 

† Morning Prayer is offered at 8:30AM on Sunday mornings and at 9:15AM Tuesdays through Fridays.  Anyone can pray the service privately using the Book of Common Prayer or one of a number of smart phone apps!  See the last section of the digital edition of the “Acts of the Apostles” for details.

† Sign up to sit with Christ at the Altar of Repose 9PM Thursday—9AM Friday this week.

Outreach

† We are collecting non-perishable food items for the food pantry of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia.  Look for the collection box in the hallway outside the parish hall.

† Our next all-church Darby Mission Meal: 9/17/19.

Good News

† Montgomery County will be using the back portion of our parking lot on Sunday, April 28th for a Bike Safety Rodeo in conjunction with the Penn Wynne Civic Association Earth Day Celebration (in the park).  We need volunteers to help welcome people onto our property and to do crowd & traffic control.  Sign up on the bulletin board outside the church office.  Also, note this will affect parking for church on that day. 

† Save the Date: Haverford Heritage Festival – Sunday, June 2.  The church will have a booth.

Children and Youth

† Because Palm Sunday is a lot of fun, we have encouraged all families  to attend today’s 10AM service. Family Evening Worship will also be offered at 5:30PM for those who want to come to church twice!

† Nursery Childcare is available during the 10:00AM Sunday service for children ages 3 and younger in the Godly Play Room.

† Sunday School: Children Preschool – 2nd grade and 3rd – 8th grade attend Sunday classes at 10:00AM, the same time as the church service starts; children join their parents in the church in time for communion. Classes are held on the 1st, 3rd, & 4th Sundays of the month. On 2nd Sundays children attend church with their parents, either the 10:00PM Holy Eucharist service or the 5:30PM Family Worship Service. When there is a 5th Sunday, children attend church with their parents, with some of the children taking part in leading the service.

† The Holy Apostles Choir School is looking toward it’s grand opening in the Fall of 2019.  If you have a potential student, apply today.  More information is available at holyapostlespa.org/choir-school/. Please forward this information to friends and neighbors who may be interested. Contact Deb Stambaugh if you have any questions.

Parish Life

† Official CHA T-shirts; $17; order yours outside the church office.

† Easter Flower Memorials– please have your memorials to the church office no later than this coming Tuesday, April 16. It is our custom to remember deceased loved ones in the light of Christ’s Resurrection with a stunning array of flowers on Easter day.  A letter was sent out this week.  Let the office know if you didn’t receive yours. The suggested donation is $8.00 per name.  Extra envelopes can be found on the Connect table.

† Don’t forget to enter the church through the Parish office door and grab a “Church Member” badge from the office during Daycare hours (7:00AM – 6:00PM Mon-Fri)!

† The Cash for Causes Program at Giant Supermarket:

               -Purchase through JT Wertz

               -5% of card value is given to Holy Apostles operating fund.

               -Can be used in store or when ordering Giant groceries through     peapod online delivery service.

Education

† Thank you to all who participated in our Lenten Soup Group series!  Look for more adult education opportunities in the near future!

† Bible Study is held on Thursdays at 11AM.

Diocesan / Community Events

† Mental Health First Aid Training (Youth) – May 4—8:30a-4:30p. St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Germantown.

† Community Veteran Culture Training / Healing Ceremony – May 6-7 starting at 8am.  Cranaleith Spiritual Center, Philadelphia. 

A Note from the Rector – 4/7/19

The Great Vigil of Easter, April 20, 2019 – 8PM. 

It’s Saturday night.  Jesus is dead.  Hell is being harrowed.

The faithful gather in the darkness and gloom.  Quietly, a fire is kindled; the first light of a growing dawn that will soon break over all the earth.  Candles are lit and the people move into the holy place to re-member once again the story of how God is saving everything.  A single voice sings by candle-light, perhaps feeble at first but with growing strength: “This is the night.”  This is the night when You brought Israel out of bondage in Egypt…This is the night, when all who believe in Christ are delivered from the gloom of sin…This is the night when Christ broke the bonds of death and hell…THIS is the night.  The normal experience of linear time need not apply during liturgy.  Heaven and earth kiss.  Time itself bends and we join Christians everywhere and at all times at the tomb of our Savior. The night when Christ conquered death extends backward and forward throughout time and into eternity.  It shakes the very foundations of the world.  We get to be there; to experience it all through ritual and song, through word and sacrament.  This is the night. 

Even though the Great Vigil of Easter was included into the American Book of Common Prayer for the first time in 1979, it is probably the oldest service in that book.  Its structure and many of its words come to us from the Church in Jerusalem in at least the 4th century (A.D. 320s).  It is probably older than that: dating to the 2nd or 3rd century.  Through this liturgy we are joining with the prayers and songs of some of the earliest Christians, gathering at Jesus’ empty tomb to celebrate the most astonishing, earth-moving, hope-dealing thing that has ever or will ever occur.  It doesn’t get any more special or significant than that.  You should come.