Continued from The Reed

"In March, my wife took me to Jennifer Lord's workshop on the Great Three Days, All Creation Rejoice. It was an energizing snap out of my liturgical lethargy. Dr. Lord led us into and around these ancient and immediate rites in such a way that I find myself digging deeper and wondering more creatively, with the congregation, about our Easter practices' impact on our Monday to Good Friday lives.

My first Education Beyond the Walls workshop was collaborative, sharp, and practical and now our book fund is taking a bit of a hit from the number of insightful and usable resources we have acquired. I knew there were great perks to marrying an APTS graduate."

-- Rev. David B. Prentice-Hyers

All Creation Rejoices! The Journey of the Great Three Days

Highlights from Jennifer L. Lord's workshop:

1.  We do not just celebrate the Resurrection once a year, rather every Sunday is a day of Resurrection.  It is helpful to think instead that Easter is to the year as Sunday is to the week.  Easter – or Pascha (our Passover in Christ – our being brought from death to life in Christ) – is the great annual feast.
2.  Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Great Vigil of Easter (the Paschal Vigil) is really one service over three days; it is a unitive event .  Notice that most service books have instructions (rubrics) that there is no benediction until the Vigil and that Good Friday and the Paschal Vigil do not include a Call to Worship.  It is one service over three days.
3.  The Easter Vigil was and is the prime time for baptism.  The days of Lent developed as a time for the final preparations of those to be baptized at the Vigil and simultaneously a time of recommitment for the rest of us.  We are helped by the biblical-historic practices of more prayer, almsgiving, and fasting.
4.  The emphasis on Lent as an extended meditation on Christ’s passion was a later development in the liturgies of the church and obscured the baptismal focus.  The older baptismal focus is renewed our service books.
5.  The particular actions over these three days (Holy Communion, foot-washing, specific scripture readings, particular prayers, the lighting of the Paschal Candle and our candles, baptisms and remembrance of baptism, etc.) are our ways of telling and enacting the life, death, and resurrection of Christ now.  We do not pretend to live back in time with Jesus but live in the spirit of the resurrection and worship God through these contemporary encounters.