A View from the Sacristy: Laetare Sunday

March 9, 2016 Comments Off on A View from the Sacristy: Laetare Sunday


We just celebrated the Rose Sunday of Lent. At St Luke’s, that means we have flowers in the church, which have not appeared since Lent began, we use rose highlights throughout, like the rose pulpit fall, and the rose burse and veil at the Holy Eucharist.  It also means that we have made it to the second half of the Lenten season and that Easter is just around the corner! For the altar guild, it means that preparations for Holy Week and Easter will begin in earnest in the next weeks.

You’d think since we celebrate the seasons of the church year after year it would not be full of surprises. Much like our daily lives, however, things have a way of changing: a vessel gets broken, a vendor goes out of business, something is borrowed and not returned, something gets worn out…

Here is a partial list of all those teeny things the altar guild needs to consider from now until Holy Week:

  • Do we need silver polish and brass polish for the clean up? Are there enough gloves and aprons for everyone to use? (Polish can be messy.)
  • Do we need to have the cassocks and surplices cleaned and pressed?
  • Have palms been ordered for Palm Sunday? Has it arrived??? (Praise Jesus for the parish office!)
  • Where are the towels for the foot washing? Are they clean?
  • Where are the tubs and pitchers for the foot washing on Maundy Thursday? Are they cracked? Are they usable? Are they clean?
  • Where is the Lesson from John used at the agape supper? (Praise Jesus for the parish office!)
  • Will we have furmentum from the Cathedral?
  • Is the cross we use for the “devotions before the cross” in one piece?
  • Do we have fresh olive oil for the new holy oil?
  • Has the new Pascal Candle arrived? (One year it arrived just in time.)
  • Do we have enough congregational candles for the Great Vigil?
  • Do we have enough bobeches so the congregation doesn’t get burned by dripping wax? Did someone slip them on each of the candles for the entire congregation?
  • Are the materials to build the New Fire at the Great Vigil purchased? (shhh…that’s a trade secret…) Did someone remember to get a fire starter so an usher doesn’t have to dig out a cigarette lighter at the last second?
  • Where is the stand we use for the New Fire? Is it able to be used again?
  • Have the Festal Fair Linens been cleaned and pressed for the High Altar and Chapel Altar?

These are just a few of the tasks which go on behind the scenes to make everything so beautiful and wonderful for everyone to enjoy and which, we hope, brings glory to God. The guild is blessed with a group of people who have a love of our traditions take great joy and to remember that all these little details are important and work to make sure nothing is overlooked or forgotten. Perhaps you might consider joining us…

-Sean Scheller

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