Holy Week message from the Chaplain …
Greetings from the Chaplain!
This is Holy Week in the Western Christian tradition. There will be many residents and staff observing this very sacred time of the year at Parkwood.
Through the week, there is an air of solemnity as we bring to mind the suffering, betrayal and death of Jesus Christ.
There will be a number of services – all led by the Chaplain, Alan Cook, because of the Pandemic.
In Long Term Care, they will be held in the lounges and alcoves of our different units. It is always appreciated when staff take a few minutes to pause and join in the services for a song or a prayer.
In the Retirement Suites, there will be short services in the corridors and in the Education Room on Wednesday 31st March, and again on Easter Sunday – April 4th.
Holy Week began with Palm Sunday, March 28th, when we remember Christ’s entry to Jerusalem as the King of Peace. Residents are given a palm leaf or a palm cross as a token of this day; they are encouraged to keep the leaf or cross on display in their rooms, e.g. on a bulletin board or over a picture where they can see it.
On Thursday, April 1st, we celebrate the Last Supper and the Washing of the disciples’ feet by Jesus. There are no services this day, however.
On Friday, April 2nd, (Good Friday), we remember the crucifixion of Jesus, his suffering and death. Chaplain Alan will lead several short services in the home areas.
On Saturday, we remember Jesus in the grave, and there will be hymn sings in the home areas and mourn the dead.
On Easter Sunday, April 4th, we celebrate with much joy the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
At the same time, the Jewish festival of Passover is celebrated this week, from Saturday, March 27th, for a week. We currently have no Jewish residents.
As we go through this Holy Week, and through another week of this pandemic, I invite you to remember that Jesus at the time was himself cut off from his friends and family, suffered, and died in great pain. But throughout this week, He knew that He was held in God’s hands, and that nothing could separate him from God’s love – not even death.
May you, may we all, know that whatever comes to us this week or in the weeks ahead, nothing can separate us from the love of God.
I wish you all a very blessed Holy Week.
Alan Cook, Chaplain, Director of Spiritual Care and Culture