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Dear Friends in Valhalla Parish—

Holy Week is nearly upon us, and I am so looking forward to gathering with you through our Palm Sunday Zoom Service, through the Diocesan Maundy Thursday Liturgy, and the Regional Good Friday Liturgy. As Holy Week and the great Three Days—the Paschal Triduum—climax, I am very much looking forward to celebrating Easter with you on Zoom in a week's time. 

There have been messages in recent days, both from Dr. Bonnie Henry and from Archbishop Lynne McNaughton about the possibility of return to outdoor in-person worship. This is something that I and your parish council are committed to prayerfully working towards. The time for this is not yet right. I yearn, perhaps as you do, to be together again. And yet, with cases in BC on the rise, and without the majority of our congregation vaccinated, we will continue to take the path of least regret. We will continue to plan and make preparations for that day. For the time being, however, we will not gather in person. 

When that day comes, I will embrace it wholeheartedly. I look forward to meeting you all face to face.

As we mark Holy Week in our homes, I am reminded that it was the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem that pushed our Jewish siblings to centre their homes as the place of religious practice. For this last year, we have sought to rehearse and embody the stories of God's faithful love in our homes, over Zoom, over Facebook, and in conversations over the phone, and on physically distanced walks. 

That story continues this week, and that is why this year we have prepared a variety of resources for you to mark Holy Week in your Household. In addition to the parish, regional, and diocesan services, these activities have been designed to ground you and your household in the beauty, mystery, awe, and wonder of Jesus' last days—his death and glorious resurrection. 

This Holy Week, as we continue to journey with Jesus towards Jerusalem, Calvary, and the Cross, we do so reminded of the deep deep love of Jesus, a love that goes all the way down.

At the bottom of this page, you will find activities for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Day to guide your home practices throughout this time.

Whether you live on your own or with others, these activities provide opportunities for reflection, self-examination, and deepening your relationship with Jesus and with others this week. If you are in a single-person household, consider discussing these activities over the phone or video call with a friend. Enter into discussion together, as a way of deepening your relationships with God and one another. 

In Easter Hope, 

Andrew Stephens-Rennie
Valhalla Parish Missioner