Reflections on Holy Week
April 2023 | by Tony Nelson, Junior Warden
The Easter season kind of snuck up on me this year as I was dealing with some medical issues, including Covid, which I had managed to avoid for the past 3 years! Dealing with feeling tired afterwards, I was reluctantly facing all the Holy Week events that I had signed up for. I know, not a good attitude to have when awaiting the rising of our savior Jesus Christ! But our loving Lord had my back, and I had the most profound Holy Week ever!
I attended the Tenebrae service at our sister church St. Paul’s Episcopal in Elk Rapids, the Maundy Thursday service, the Good Friday evening service, and Easter Sunday service. Each service was so amazing, and it was so much more meaningful to me that I was included in the readings at each service. I was part of two different Passion readings, where I went from playing Judas to being Jesus, talk about going from one extreme to another!
The special part of my week was doing the overnight Gethsemane Vigil early Friday morning. I took a two-hour shift from 12:30 am to 2:30 am, which I thought would be hard to get through. But being alone in the sanctuary with the lights down low was such a peaceful feeling, knowing that I was keeping watch with Jesus! The time went by so fast as I did the Stations of the Cross, along with some prayers and quiet meditation. I was so glad that I did the two hours as I felt one hour wouldn’t have been enough to do the things I did. I also found out that the church building makes a lot of weird and strange noises, which are greatly noticeable in the wee morning hours!
Grace Episcopal Church has so much to offer its members, whether it be during the Easter season or any time of year. I feel fortunate that when I’m feeling tired or down, I have a place to go to refresh myself and be with my church family. The ministries and outreach programs of our church are a wonderful way to be the hands and feet of Jesus and show his love. I feel honored to be a part of the Vestry and to be involved in so many of the different programs at Grace. I get energized when I walk through the door, and I look forward to helping Grace continue to move forward in spreading the love of Christ throughout our community!
May God’s grace, peace, and love be with you all!