As you know, Holy Week and Easter are traditionally the busiest time of year for our beloved clergy. Weeks and even months of preparation culminate in an 8-day marathon during which they, along with church staff, choir, altar guild and a host of other volunteers, run themselves ragged.
This year is different. All the palms, processions and flowers have been put to the side. But what is important to keep in mind is that our clergy are even busier than usual. Instead of coordinating processions and trumpet fanfares, they spend hours each day calling to check in on their people. They lead services online, often on a daily basis, and that is in addition to their usual rota of meetings, bible studies and Sunday worship. They are working with vestries to balance the budget and apply for aid under the CARES act. All the while they are still writing multiple sermons and planning liturgies which must now be tailored to the limits imposed by safety and technology alike. It is important for us to remember that just because Holy Week and Easter may not be a grand as we would like, that our clergy still pour their hearts into making them happen.
To ensure they take care of themselves I am asking our clergy to take the week following Easter off from offering online services. I myself will be taking the week off from leading Noonday Prayer. The diocesan youth committee, supplemented as necessary by the Canons, will be creating a rotation to offer morning, noon and evening prayer so that you can continue to join in communal worship.
I hope you will join me in offering prayers of thanksgiving for our clergy; for their steady leadership during this time of crisis, for their faithfulness and caring, their dedication and for their love which leads them to give freely of themselves in imitation of our Lord Jesus Christ. We owe them a debt of gratitude. As we journey through this holiest of weeks, please keep them in your prayers.