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Hello, St. Peter's!

This evening seven of us gathered at the church to commemorate Part One of the Triduum, the Holy Three Days of the Paschal Mass. Tonight I preached without shoes and talked about feet. Washing someone's feet is one of the most intimate connections one can have with another person.  Feet are often dirty, but feet are also a point of connection for our body and spirit and the earth on which we walk. This is why the angel in the burning bush tells Moses to removes his sandals from his feet because the ground on which he stands is holy. I would argue that all ground is holy if we look at it in the right light. 

At the end of service, the sanctuary was stripped of her adornments as Christ would be stripped at his trial and crucifixion. The tabernacle door was left open to show that it is empty of the Body of Christ. And the Altar of Repose has been set up in room 2, to be for us a place of reflection and a representation of the Garden of Gethsemane. 
Below I have included a set of prayers that have been left at the prie-dieu in our make-shift chapel, and I invite you to pray with it for at least one hour tonight wherever you may be. If you are anything like me you are bound to wake up at some point in the night, either by the call of the Holy Spirit or by our bladders. That is a good time to pray. And I encourage you to do so without your shoes. Feel the earth, the wood, the stone, or the carpet with your feet. Recognize the holy in the places you are, and spend some time awake with God. 

I hope to see you all at First Presbyterian tomorrow for Tenebrae at 6:30 pm and the St. Peter's on Saturday at 8 pm for the Great Vigil of Easter and the conclusion of the Triduum. After such a year as 2020, let us come together to commemorate our Lord's Passion and Resurrection. 
In Christ,

The Rev. Joshua Nelson
Maundy Thursday Gethsemane Watch
You are invited to spend one hour this night in prayer either at home or before the Blessed Sacrament at the Altar of Repose. Below are a few optional prayers, scripture readings, and meditations, to aid you in your prayers. 

Opening Prayer
Lord Jesus, as I watch and pray, remain here with me. Amen

Scripture (Matthew 26:36-45)
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again he went away for the second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

What will I watch and pray about this hour?

Meditative Prayer Options
O Lord Jesus Christ, thou didst not come to the world to be served, but also surely not to be admired or in that sense to be worshiped. Thou wast the way and the truth – and it was followers only thou didst demand. Arouse us therefore if we have dozed away into this delusion, save us from the error of wishing to admire thee instead of being willing to follow thee and resemble thee.
            ~ Soren Kierkegaard 

Our Father, who art in heaven,
    hallowed be thy Name,
    thy kingdom come thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
    as we forgive those
        who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
    and the power, and the glory,
    for ever and ever. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.

The Jesus Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.

Closing Prayer
Jesus, alongside your suffering, you also bear my wounds. I offer you all the grief and worries I carry at this hour: may they be transformed by your love. Amen. 
Maundy Thursday Story Time with Fr. Joshua
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