Dignity Washington celebrated an ecumenical service with St. Margaret’s Episcopal church. Fr. Jeff co-celebrated Eucharist with Rev. Kym Lucas, Rector of St. Margaret’s Church. The liturgy began with a wonderful agape meal prepared by St. Margaret’s parishioners. The guests were treated to unleavened bread, hummus, Lamb stew and vegetarian kale and potato soup. The liturgy featured the washing of feet and ended with a procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the alter of repose in the side chapel. Parishioners from both St. Margaret’s and Dignity kept a vigil throughout the night.
The Church paused to commemorate the Lord Jesus’ supreme sacrifice on the Cross with rites that are both ancient and ever new. The Service, co-led by Jake Hudson of Dignity/Washington and Monika Ruppert of Dignity/Northern Virginia, was highlighted by The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ: A Narrative in Nine Voices, written and directed by Silvio Menzano Weisner, that stirred our minds and hearts and prepared us for compassionate Prayers of the Faithful for believers and unbelievers, for church and civil authorities, and for all the downtrodden and suffering.
Then, the Cross, draped in red cloth, that Roman implement of capital punishment, was carried in our midst and elevated in honor. All were invited to approach it, with profound gratitude and humility, and to venerate it as the implement of our redemption through Jesus’ blood.
Communion was served and the Service concluded in silence as the Blessed Sacrament was carried in procession to the side Altar of Repose for adoration and continual prayer until the dawn. Thus ended the first full day of the Sacred Three Days that had begun the evening of Holy Thursday and would conclude on Easter morning.
Dignity/Washington met for the Great Vigil of Easter at the Universalist Church at 16th & S streets. The beautiful, romanesque sanctuary was darkened for the Liturgy of the Word, except for the light of the Pascal candle and individual vigil candles.
The Liturgy of the Word featured seven readings from the Hebrew scripture and the New Testament, and each reading was followed by a Psalm. The many talents of Dignity/Washington’s choir made the vigil a solemn and sacred liturgy. Our Dignity chapter is truly blessed with many talented musicians and vocalists; their music made the Easter Vigil a night that everyone who attended will remember.
The Easter day liturgy was a fitting end to a beautiful spring day, which as the celebrant said in his homily, “reeked of resurrection”. The church was beautifully decorated with spring flowers. The liturgy included Fr. Jeff’s innovative homily that interspersed verses from the hymn “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?” with reflections and the death and resurrection of Jesus.
During the liturgy, the congregation renewed the vows of Baptism and was sprinkled with holy water. It was a fitting end to an eventful Easter Triduum. Many thanks to the Liturgy Committee, choir, celebrants, and all who helped Dignity/Washington celebrate the Easter season.