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March 20, 2013




Dear Friends in Christ,

            I recently came across an article entitled “The Immortality of the Soul” by one of the great Russian Orthodox writers of the late 20th century, Father George Florovsky.  His point in a nutshell is that we do not naturally possess an immortal soul, but rather that immortality is a gift that we receive through our share in the resurrection of Christ.  Here are a few choice quotes:

In current thinking nowadays, the “immortality of the soul” is usually overemphasized to such an extent that the basic “mortality of man” is almost overlooked…death is a catastrophe for man.”

           This, says Florovksy, is because “the body intrinsically belongs to the fullness of human existence.”  The soul is not simply “confined in the prison of the body” as the Greek philosopher Plato taught.

          The catastrophe of death, the dissolution of the body, and its separation from soul is decisively reversed in the event of the Resurrection – and not just in the case of Jesus, but ultimately for us as well.   Hence, concludes Florovsky,

“The Christian ‘hope of immortality’ is rooted in and secured by this victory of Christ, and not by any ‘natural’ endowment.  And it means also that this hope is rooted in a historical event, i.e., in a historical self-revelation of God, and not in any static disposition or constitution of human nature.”

          The Resurrection of Jesus Christ changes everything for us.  So join us this Holy Week and Easter.”  These liturgies draw us into the reality of the Resurrection, so that the pattern of resurrection and Jesus’ triumph over death will reshape the character and destiny of our lives.

            I especially encourage you to attend the complete “Tridium” of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil.  These are not so much three separate services, as three phases of a single liturgical movement through the Passion to the Resurrection.  In our participation in these dramatic services, this story becomes our story as well.  Holy Week and Easter services are listed on the back of this letter.


Faithfully in Christ,


Fr. Christopher



Easter and Holy Week 2013

Trinity Church, Potsdam


PALM SUNDAY:  The Palm Sunday Liturgy at 10:30 a.m. recalls the exultation of the crowd when Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey with a blessing of palm branches and procession.  But Palm Sunday is also the Sunday of the Passion, when we retell the story of Jesus’ arrest, trial, and death.

HOLY MONDAYHoly Eucharist at 12:00 noon.

HOLY TUESDAY:  Holy Eucharist at 12:00 noon.                                  

HOLY WEDNESDAY:  Holy Eucharist at 12:00 noon.

MAUNDY THURSDAY:  Maundy Thursday Liturgy takes place at 7:00 p.m.  The term “maundy” is an Old English variation of the Latin mandatum, meaning “commandment.”  It derives from Jesus’ words at the Last Supper, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (John 13:34).  Following Jesus’ example from the Last Supper, Fr. Christopher will wash the feet of parishioners who wish to come forward.  After the service, a prayer vigil will take place at the “Altar of Repose” in the chapel as we “watch with Christ.”

GOOD FRIDAY:  More than at any other time, we focus on the saving work that Jesus Christ accomplished for us on the Cross.  Jesus said, “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).  This is the day of that “happy exchange” in which Christ takes our place, so that his righteousness may be imputed to us.  “For our sake God made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

12:00 noon:  Stations of the Cross, with added prayers, hymns, and homily.

7:00 p.m. the Good Friday Liturgy:  This year’s service will not be a deanery service with other parishes participating, as has often been the case in past years.  We will celebrate the solemn prayer book Good Friday liturgy as a parish family, with the recitation of the Passion narrative, veneration of the cross, and communion from the Reserved Sacrament (communion previously consecrated from the night before).

HOLY SATURDAY: The Easter Vigil at 8:00 p.m.:  The service begins in complete darkness and continues in candlelight.  We are in the tomb with Christ, that we might rise with him.  After readings from the Old Testament recalling the history of salvation, we celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism and then the celebrant proclaims, “Alleluia, Christ is Risen!”  The lights go on, and the service continues as a joyful celebration of the Eucharist.

EASTER SUNDAY:  Holy Eucharist at 10:30 a.m.


People who do not worship in a church regularly are often open to attending church on Easter.


Invite your friends and neighbors to join us on Easter!

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