Renewal of vows and blessing of the oils

Dear friends,

Very soon Holy Week will begin and once more we will mark our steps from the glory of the palms to the glory of the empty tomb.

Holy Week lies at the center of our faith. We have prepared ourselves through the season of Lent to embark on this week long journey. We have taken an inner pilgrimage, in both heart and soul, allowing ourselves to draw nearer to the life and teachings of Jesus.

The love that led Jesus to lay down his life on our behalf touches our own hearts, preparing us to give more of ourselves in service to the world. I am drawn to the words of Jesus, especially in St. John’s Gospel chapter 15: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”. Jesus has just given his followers a command which seems so obvious and so simple, yet can be so challenging to live each day. “Love one another as I have loved you.”

Holy Week is rich with symbolism, imagery and opportunities for worship and praise. I have always felt that we miss much if we do not take the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the richness of this week. I am of the view that the journey of Holy Week mirrors the story of our lives, beginning in glory, ending in glory but on the way being lifted to great heights as well as encountering deep chasms to traverse.

I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to seek opportunities to join with your brothers and sisters in worship throughout Holy Week. To that end, I would like to extend an invitation to you to join me for worship at St. George’s Cathedral in Kingston and Holy Tuesday, April 11 at noon. The focus of the service is the renewal of our commitment in faith to Jesus Christ. Clergy renew their ordination vows and laypeople renew the vows made at their baptism. Holy oil, symbolizing the ministry of healing is blessed for use in anointing the sick and sealing the newly baptized as they join the body of Christ.

Following the celebration of the Eucharist on Holy Tuesday, you are invited to join us in the Great Hall of the Cathedral for a time of fellowship and to enjoy our traditional lunch of soup and hot cross buns.

May you be deeply blessed throughout this Holy Week and Easter Season. Please be assured of my prayers as together, we continue our journey of service to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the light of his glorious resurrection.

Yours in Christ’s Service,

Bishop Michael