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Holy Week on the Silver Whisper

IMG_5725.JPGIMG_5692.JPGYes, we just posted (Easter) Sunday's worship service on the blog, but we didn't tell you about the miracle that happened there. The seeds were planted a week before while waiting for the elevator after dinner. A fellow passenger, waiting with us, said, "Well, you didn't have any worship on Palm Sunday." This was true because we weren't on the ship Palm Sunday morning but flying back from Cappadocia. The conversation was quite surprising because we have "known" the speaker, Father Rick Lawson, for years of cruising on Silversea, and we have never met. Father Lawson is an Episcopal priest, the retired Dean of the Cathedral in Salt Lake City, and he travels with a group of a dozen or so folks who are his guests. The group eats together, and they live in connecting suites and are somewhat separate from the ship's general activities. So ... our eyes opened wide as we made small talk; Hope asked, "Would you like to join us in leading worship this (Maundy) Thursday?" Father Lawson cheerfully assented, and we began a complex development of a Eucharistic liturgy. This project was particularly complex because it included Monsignor Joe Mayo, a Roman Catholic priest, and RC's and Anglicans don't share the communion table very easily. We found a way. Hope was the officiant; Bill the preacher, Joe read the Gospel, Rick added a hand washing, and the four of us held out our hands over the bread and wine as Rick said the words of consecration. Attendance? About 50 of the 200 on the ship - rather amazing, we think. The Roman Catholics aboard were very pleased to have Mass (a communion service). On Good Friday we shared the Gospel reading and the Solemn Collects, and on Easter, Joe was the celebrant using an RC Eucharistic prayer that prayed for the Pope (a first for the Baptists, etc. in our congregation) and he added Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury (another first). Attendance: over 70, many dressed in Easter finery.

The mood was beautiful, electric, grateful, as people of all traditions gathered together to worship God and celebrate Jesus' resurrection and be fed at Christ's table. We are really unable to figure out how it all worked so well and so lovingly and respectfully.

On Easter Monday, Hope took a draft liturgy to the other priests and asked if they would like to continue joint worship. "No thanks," Rick said; "we enjoyed our time together but we will not participate in future Sundays."

Even if miracles don't last long, they still count!


Posted by HopeEakins 09:05

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