Free & Fit - Hoboken All Saints Easter Season
Free & Fit - Hoboken All Saints Easter Season
Throughout the Easter season the Church celebrates what is known as the “Triduum” this includes the Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday Service plus sometimes a Saturday Easter Vigil. For myself I have chosen to Worship, with approval from my Professor, at Hoboken Church All Saints Episcopal. I was able to participate in all four services with a foot washing with my wife for Maundy Thursday liturgy, online for Good Friday Service, Easter Vigil pre-recorded late Saturday night finishing with the liturgy at home and live and online for Easter Day for the 9am Family Worship and 10am Morning Prayer. An action packed, and I am sure exhausting for all Church Pastors and Priests globally, online and through Facebook Live.
Observation is that we were welcomed online by Mother Elaine very respectfully, humbly and openly to us all. Her profound open welcome gave us all joy by the response on the Facebook chat everybody was encouraged, engaged and edified in this welcome by making comments and liking with specific emojis. There were prompts, liturgical cues and relevant references to Hymns and Bible readings. The people online and in the video with Elaine were also very welcoming online. Unfortunately, I couldn’t join the coffee hour after the 10:30 service due to attending Hoboken Evangelical Free Church for my final project.
For the Maundy service we were encouraged, provided and entrusted with completing the liturgy either with food or said prayer aloud. My wife, Liza, shared the words together from the liturgy over dinner and washed each other in response as guided to through the online Facebook document downloaded locally for us all to complete in our homes. This was both a refreshing and bonding experience through the act of worship. Thank you Jesus.
The Good Friday service was able to incorporate the usual practices of this beautiful service and Mother Elaine alongside her husband Tim, the lay couple, who accompanied them, and us together all online were all participating in an ancient ritual to mark the day that Jesus was hung on the cross. Liturgical laity readers spoke, all well dressed, read beautifully and enabled us to appreciate the words of the Gospel and the ancient practices we are all used to sharing through the Easter Triduum process.
The Saturday vigil was broadcast not only to our usual local residents of Hoboken, but also to those from the Dioceses of Newark. Participants were invited to complete the liturgy online and it even encouraged parent and child participation with different translations and specific images, worksheets and downloads available for young persons to participate.
The Worship was wonderful throughout, different members of the congregation participating in each service with a lay couple on Good Friday, Saturday vigil Father and Son, and Easter Day various the congregation was well represented and well developed. Throughout the worship time we all felt an absence dud to the screen, but even today we were able to appreciate more intimate worship as Mother Elaine shared her participation in the choir from the pre-recorded musical performance at the National Cathedral in Washington DC. It was a wonderful experience.
After taking in all the experience of these services I felt that All Saints was a high, welcoming and affirming Church. The senses are reduced when online, the absence of in person touch during the peace and passing of the plate you sense a limitation on the physicality and blessing of meeting together. However, All Saints is a fully functional Church despite its online presence. The Church has been used as much as possible and morning prayer is a welcome community builder alongside coffee hour via zoom. The parish seems to be a family based Church, yet both morning services on Easter Day had over fifty people present online and no service was below 30 when I was logging in and all members were present, commenting and participating online in the chat. All Saints is a community building, service based and family orientated Church which welcomes and affirms all people, genuinely and authentically.
Given the current climate of tithing being reduced by 75 according to Church research statistics a Church like All Saints will be reliant upon regular donors and I believe the absence of an Easter donation like normal will be a huge financial loss for all Church’s. The different causes including the mention so f other organizations including the Jubilee Centre, All Saints Day School, Hoboken Homeless Shelter and even the Church I Jerusalem after one of the services. A true humble, encouraging and act of generosity. When we open our doors to people, we don’t just invite our friends to share their gifts, but we invite our hearts open to share what we don’t have to give, and we give a part of ourselves. A truly enriching, unique and venerable act of service. This was truly humble and helped me process something I have always struggled with to share all of what we have and to share even when we can’t give.
Additionally, Mother Elaine shared about a clip from the movie a few good men and the quote from Jack Nicholson when he approached Tom Cruise about the topic of truth and referenced the scripture verse John 14:6 this was the verse I had been meditating all week and brought tears to my eyes. The verse references Jesus speaking to Thomas and sharing that we would have access to God through Jesus who is the Way, the Truth and the Life were touching, relevant and personally touching to hear these words preached from the pulpit and helped me recognize Jesus I the midst of our Easter triduum.
Furthermore, the awakening of Jesus at the tomb, to our awakening as a nation, as a people and as a resurrected child of God we can have our eyes opened to the truth of the Gospel and our veils came off we were reborn in the same Spirit of Jesus through the Easter transition on Easter Day with the Resurrected Christ.