Reading Our Palms

At 10am on March 25 (Palm Sunday this year, and therefore not the Feast of the Annunciation), we will gather in the parish hall rather than in the church. After reading the story of Jesus’ triumphal entry to Jerusalem, we will bless palm fronds and distribute them to the congregation. Singing “All glory, laud, and honor” and then reciting Psalm 118:19-29, we will process outside, down the sidewalk around the church and then into the church.

Once we have entered the church, however, our song of triumph quickly turns into a groan of remorse as we begin our week-long contemplation of Jesus’ betrayal at the hands of his friends and suffering at the hands of those who considered themselves defenders of the faith. If you are afraid to take a good hard look at yourself, Palm Sunday is a good day to stay home in bed, for even as we wave our palms, we know that our cries of “hosanna!” will soon turn to cries of “crucify him!” There’s a reason we burn our palms to make ashes for Ash Wednesday—we are only human, and to dust we will inevitably return.

I am particularly mindful of the mortality of our intentions this year as many of us make plans to attend rallies against gun violence on March 24th. These March(es) for our Lives in Washington DC, Indianapolis and South Bend are a response most recently to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th that left 17 dead and 17 wounded. More broadly speaking, they are also a response to the stream of shootings that has plagued this country in recent decades, a response that demands an end to gun violence.

In our own neighborhood, gun violence has taken the lives of Tysiona Crawford, D’Angelo Jennings, Tyshawn Taylor, and  Daekwon Tobar. This is just to name the deaths of teenagers in the first months of 2018 in South Bend. Draw the circle wider, and the numbers climb. A 13 year-old was shot (but blessedly not killed) just a few blocks from us a couple of days ago. These are our children  To say that we who march are mindful of our own mortality and that of our children is a gross understatement.

Let us also be mindful, however, of our own inconstancy. If there is anything we learn from “reading” our palms throughout Holy Week, it’s that we humans are easily distracted from our firm intentions, by fear, by fatigue and even by boredom. We rally when it means a road trip with our friends on a Spring Day, but we sometimes pass on the chance to share our views with hostile family members and friends or to go to the polls on a rainy day. Or we may vote, but base our votes (at the polls and in the legislature) on other values that seem more important (or more efficacious) at the time.

The fact that not everyone who marches in March will vote in May and November might incline us towards cynicism and despair. Before we give up on humanity, however, let us remember the most important lesson of Holy Week—that God has embraced us in all of our inconstancy, taking on all the implications of our mortality. Knowing ourselves to have come within the reach of that saving embrace, let us act in hope for our common humanity.

Changes to Soup After School

Soup After SchoolFor the past three years, neighbors have gathered with us here at the Church of the Holy Trinity for Soup After School, an opportunity to sit down together for conversation over a free meal of soup, bread, a drink and something sweet. There is always something fun for the kids to do, and for us grown-ups it’s a safe, warm place to gather and get to know one another!
This year, we are staring a bit later—funny how folks don’t seem to want soup when it’s warm outside! We are also moving to the second and fourth Tuesdays rather than the first and third. In this way we hope to be more responsive to the needs of those who get paid on the 1st and 15th of the month, only to find that there are too may days, and not enough paycheck.
All are welcome, even those who don’t particularly need a good hot meal. Come just to sit and chat, or come to help out with cooking or serving soup, with supervising the children or with cleaning up. We offer you this time for a bit of peace (though not necessarily quiet!) in a busy and troubled world.

Dates For

Soup After School: 2017-18

  • October 24
  • November 14
  • November 28
  • December 12
  • January 9
  • January 23
  • February 13
  • February 27
  • March 13
  • March 27
  • April 10
  • April 24
While Soup After School is not, strictly speaking, a religious gathering, we do try to offer an activity each time that will engage the kids in the seasonal life of the church. After clearing away the dishes at 6pm, those wanting to join us for worship troop into the church for a 6:30pm Eucharist where we give thanks for the opportunity to seek and serve Christ in every human being. Our hope is that the transition from supper table to communion table will become yet another way in which we can offer our neighbors a taste of the life we share in Christ. Pray with us that, in that taste, both we and our neighbors will see that the Lord is good!


The Feast of St. Mary the Virgin


The Church of the Holy Trinity invites you to a Procession and Eucharist in Honor of

The Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin

on Tuesday, August 15 at 6:30 pm

Please Join Us on the The Feast of St. Mary the Virgin as we keep the ancient tradition of the Crowning of Mary in Solemn Procession followed by a Sung Eucharist. In the Episcopal Church, we celebrate the end of Mary’s earthly ministry and her joyous reception into the hosts of heaven without specifying how, in fact, this came about. So, whether you believe that Mary was assumed bodily into heaven without experiencing death or that she experienced a death as gentle as falling asleep, there is a place for you in the procession. What we all share is the recognition that Jesus’ joy in receiving his mother provides us a foretaste of the joy that will greet us when, having experienced the forgiveness of sins, we too will have entered the realms of heaven. We invite you to come celebrate that promised joy with us!

Purslane in the Garden

During our Neighborhood Summerfest yesterday evening, I took a few minutes to wander through the garden and pull some weeds.  I had just pulled some volunteer purslane (see inset photo) and had straightened up to look for my next victim, when a neighbor stopped me:

“Are you pulling weeds?”




“But that’s purslane. My family eats that. If you leave it, we will come and harvest it.”


My initial reaction was to be happy that one of our neighbors had motivation to pull what I was still thinking of as a weed from our garden. But once I was home, after the party was over, I got to wondering about how one went about eating purslane, ’cause there’s plenty to go around!

A quick survey of the web brought up the following recipes:

Purslane and Basil Pesto

Purslane and Basil Pesto

Purslane and Basil Pesto


Shirazi Style Purslane Salad


Pickled Purslane (try saying that 5 times fast!)


Stir-Fried Purslane, Chinese Style

So, the next time you pull out some Purslane, you might not want to throw it away!

Neighborhood Summerfest!

Come one, come all, for a casual neighborhood gathering right in Holy Trinity’s backyard!

As part of our effort to form deeper relationships with our neighborhood, the Church of the Holy will be hosting a backyard party on Saturday, June 28th from 5-8pm. Featuring free food and live music, the party will be a kick-off for what we hope will be an ongoing outreach effort. This first event will include:

  • live music
  • free food
  • a little gardening
  • bible stories and crafts for the kids
  • a prayer circle
  • a sampling of educational and social service resource

This first event will focus on sampling some of the things we could do together as neighbors, while soliciting ideas from neighbors about what kinds of activities they would like to play a part in. So, while we will have materials and very brief presentations from different educational and social service groups who might present more substantial programs at Holy Trinity in the future, we will also have space for folks to list what kinds of presentations they would like to have. Likewise with music, crafts, food etc. . .

Our primary goal is to get to know our neighbors better, so do come and hang out in the backyard with us!




Rogation Celebration May 27, 2014 – 6:30pm



 The people gather in front of the church.

Officiant:       Alleluia Christ is risen.

People:      The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

The Gospel                                                                                          Matthew 6:25-34


Officiant:       Let us go forth in peace, Alleluia.

People:      In the Name of Christ, Alleluia.

The people process to the Unity Garden, singing, “O Lord, hear my prayer.”



Officiant:       He changed deserts into pools of water and dry land into water-springs. He settled the hungry there, and they founded a city to dwell in.

People:       They sowed fields, and planted vineyards, and brought in a fruitful harvest.


Almighty God, Lord of heaven and earth: We humbly pray that your gracious providence may give and preserve to our use the harvests of the land and of the seas, and may prosper all who labor to gather them, that we, who are constantly receiving good things from your hand, may always give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


The people then process around the church to Olive Street, singing “O Lord, hear my prayer.” They continue across the street to the convenience store.


Officiant:       All creatures look to you, O Lord, to give them their food in due season.

People:      You give it to them; they gather it; you open your hand, and they are filled with good things.


Almighty and Everlasting God, our times are in your hand: pour out your blessing upon all who come here to buy or to sell, watching over them in their going out and in their coming in, that all may be clothed in righteousness and all may prosper in body, mind and spirit. Amen.

The people then process down the west side of Olive Street to the park, singing “O Lord, hear my prayer.”

Officiant:       Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted;

People:      But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.


Almighty and merciful God, we see under the sun that the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong; but time and chance happen to them all. Grant that those who come here for play and exercise may run without stumbling to obtain your heavenly promises, and bless all those by whose labor this park is maintained; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The people then continue processing down the west side of Olive Street to the school, singing “O Lord, hear my prayer.”

Officiant:       So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.

People:      Satisfy us by your loving-kindness in the morning; so shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.


Eternal God, bless this school, that it may be a lively center for sound learning, new discovery, and the pursuit of wisdom; granting that those who teach and those who learn may find you to be the source of all truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The people then continue processing down the west side of Olive Street to the gas station, singing “O Lord, hear my prayer.”


Officiant:       Lord, you have searched me out and known me; you know my sitting down and my rising up; you discern my thoughts from afar.

People:      You trace my journeys and my resting-places and are acquainted with all my ways.


Heavenly Father, whose glory fills the whole creation, and whose presence we find wherever we go: bless both those who travel and those whose labor equips them for travel; surround them both with your loving care; protect them from every danger; and bring them in safety to their journey and their labor’s end; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Singing “O Lord, hear my prayer,” the people then continue processing down the west side of Olive Street to the Auto Body shop.


Officiant:       The metal on the chariots flashes on the day when the Lord musters them;

People:      the chariots race madly through the streets, they rush to and fro through the squares; their appearance is like torches, they dart like lightning. 


Most Gracious God, you have given your people skill to work with metals, bringing order out of chaos and creating works of strength and beauty: bless all who labor here to make whole what has been broken, that they may do the work you give them to do in truth and beauty and for the common good; through Jesus Christ, Our Lord, who labored among us to fulfill the commands of your love. Amen.

The people then cross the street to the east side of Olive Street, and process sorth to Fire Station, singing “O Lord, hear my prayer.”


Officiant:       I give you thanks, O Lord, for you have been my protector and helper, and have delivered me from destruction

People:      from choking fire on every side, and from the midst of fire that I had not kindled.


Almighty God, who rescued the three young me from the fiery furnace and who promises to be with us in every trial and danger: pour out courage and strength upon those who put themselves in danger for the rescue and protection of others, preserving them from all harm of body, mind or spirit; though Him who passed through the fires of Hell and rose again, even Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The people then process north to the Car Wash, singing “O Lord, hear my prayer.”


Officiant:       Cleanse me with hyssop and I shall be clean

People:      wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.


We thank you, God, for the gift of water. Over it the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation. Through it you led the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt into the land of promise. Bless those who work here with water, and even as they wash away the dust and grime of daily life, restoring cars to their proper beauty, so may they find restoration of body, mind and spirit in you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

The people then process north to the Auto Repair and Car Wash, singing “O Lord, hear my prayer.”


Officiant:       Cleanse me with hyssop and I shall be clean

People:      wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.


Most Gracious God, you have given your people skill to work with many different machines and wisdom with which to understand their innermost works. Bless all those who gather here to wash and repair vehicles, that by their labor they may secure the safety and productive labor of others; in the name of Him in whom all things have their being. Amen.

The people then process up the east side of Olive Street to the barber shop, singing “O Lord, hear my prayer.”


Officiant:       Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight.

People:       But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.


O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: bless those whose work strives to bring out the beauty and dignity of each person, that we might catch in each other’s faces some glimpses of your beauty, and be made worthy at length to behold it unveiled for evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The people return to the front of the church up the east side of Olive Street, singing, “O Lord, hear my prayer.”


Officiant:       Happy are they all who fear the Lord, and who follow in his ways!

People:      They shall eat the fruit of their labor; happiness and prosperity shall be theirs.


Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ in his earthly life shared our toil and hallowed our labor:  Be present with your people where they work; make those who carry on the industries and commerce of this land responsive to your will; and give to us all a pride in what we do, and a just return for our labor; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.


Passing of the Peace:

all are invited to share a sign of God’s peace with one another as they enter the church and take their seats. 


Holy Eucharist

All baptized Christians are invited to share in Communion, and Gluten free wafers are available on request.Un-baptized persons or those wishing not to receive communion for any reason are welcome to come forward for a blessing, crossing their hands over their chests in indication.


Offertory Prayer:

O merciful Creator, your hand is open wide to satisfy the needs of every living creature:  Make us always thankful for your loving providence; and grant that we, remembering the account that we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of your good gifts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.


Great Thanksgiving:           Eucharistic Prayer B                        BCP 367


The Lord’s Prayer                     traditional                              BCP 364


Breaking of the Bread:                                                          BCP 364


Invitation to Holy Communion:        Communion is distributed to the people.


Post Communion Thanksgiving and Blessing:                       BCP 366




The Dismissal:                                                                    BCP 366



Please join us after the service

for refreshments in the parish hall

This Week with Holy Trinity—Easter VI

Sunday, May 25, (Easter VI)


  • 8am Low Mass in St. Joseph Chapel — Mtr. Terri Bays Preacher/Celebrant
  • 10am Sung Mass at High Altar— Mtr. Terri Bays Preacher/Celebrant


Tuesday, May 27 (Rogation Day)

  • 6:30pm Rogation Day Procession,
  • 7:00 pm (roughly) Eucharist
  • 7:30pm Pot-Luck Supper
  • 8:30 pm Progressive Evangelism Bible Study/Workshop


Thursday, May 29  (Ascension)

  • 7pm Joint Ascension Day Celebration with Lutherans—At the Cathedral of St. James


Saturday, May 31 (Visitation of the BVM)

  • 12pm Joint Eucharist at St. Paul’s,Mishawaka


Sunday, June 1, (Easter VII)


  • 8am Low Mass in St. Joseph Chapel — Bp. Frank Gray Celebrant, Dcn. Susan Tiffany, Preacher
  • 10am Sung Mass at High Altar— Bp. Frank Gray Celebrant, Dcn. Susan Tiffany, Preacher



ImageJerusalem remembers,
in the days of her affliction and wandering,
all the precious things
that were hers in days of old.
When her people fell into the hand of the foe,
and there was no one to help her,
the foe looked on mocking
over her downfall.

—Lamentations 1:7 (Zayin)

One of the service names on Our Holy Week schedule that might seem (particularly) unfamiliar is Tenebrae, taking place on Wednesday evening at 6:30pm. Named for the Latin word for shadows, this service offers us the opportunity to reflect upon the shadows that fell upon Jesus’ followers in the time leading up to his death, a time when evil seemed victorious over good. We participate in the growing anger, fear and dismay of the disciples using the words of the Psalms and the book of Lamentations. As the service progresses, we gradually extinguish a stand of fifteen candles, until only one remains—the light of Christ. Then that light, too, is hidden from us, even as it was hidden from the disciples as Christ lay in the tomb. As we wait in silence, we hear the sound of an earthquake, and the light returns to us.

Why would we want to do this? Why choose to put ourselves through this re-enactment of anxiety when we know that Christ has already risen from the dead? We do this because we do not always bask in awareness of the light of the risen Christ. We all too often live our lives under the shadows of anger, fear and dismay, forgetting that God has already triumphed over sin and death. When, therefore, we choose to walk through these shadows with the disciples, we remind ourselves that evil only seems to triumph over the other parts of our lives. We always have access to the light of Christ, even when that light is hidden from us or from those to whom we bear witness.

Then, the next time we find ourselves overwhelmed with life’s shadows (and there is always a next time), or the next time we encounter someone else who is overwhelmed, we carry with us the memory of this experience. Having exercised our faith in our worship, we are prepared to do the work to which God calls us, even when that work is simply a matter of remembering that the light we cannot now see is only hidden, not extinguished. And when we hear the sound of the earthquake, we know that it is the sound of deliverance, not destruction.


The service of Tenebrae emerged in the Middle Ages from the monastic service of Matins and Lauds for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. This monastic influence is still apparent in the use of Gregorian Chant for praying the psalms and in the division of the service into nocturns, or night watches. Other musical settings of the Tenebrae service became available as the appeal of Tenebrae spread beyond the monastic community over time, so that one may now find polyphonic, baroque and even jazz versions of the Tenebrae service.

It has become common practice in the Episcopal Church to hold the service of Tenebrae on Wednesday of Holy Week rather than on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Two historical factors have led to this practice, which we are following at Holy Trinity. One has to do with time and the other with function.

The precise timing of Matins and Lauds, originally sung at night and at daybreak respectively, varied considerably from place to place and even from day to day as the nights grew shorter. Matins for particularly important days in the life of the church could be quite long and elaborate, requiring the service to begin earlier and earlier in order to end by daybreak. Thus the services of Tenebrae, as Matins for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, would begin sometime in the evening on Wednesday of Holy Week.

In a monastic community, Matins and Lauds are a part of the regular worship on each and every day, so Tenebrae functions as a particular focus for the prayer already being done on each day. Outside of the monastery, however, different worship patterns prevail. Other obligations inhibit lay attendance at multiple services, and the services of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday already have their own emphases. Thus in the Episcopal Church we keep only the first of the Tenebrae observances, on Wednesday evening, to allow its own function to receive emphasis without conflicting with that of the other services.

Stations of the Cross

Third Station—Jesus Falls

Entrance to a Polish Catholic Chapel at the 3rd Station in Jerusalem. Photo by Remi Jouan.

From the earliest years of Christianity, the faithful have made their way to the holy places in Jerusalem where Jesus suffered his passion and death. Although we have no set list of places those first pilgrims visited, over time there emerged a pattern, not only of places, but of special devotions practiced in those places. This pattern came to be known as the Via dolorosa (Way of sorrows) or Via crucis (Way of the cross).  As Christianity spread, the number of pilgrims making their way to Jerusalem grew.

Almost since the first recorded pilgrimages to Jerusalem, we find also the recording of the longing experienced by those who were unable to make the trip.  Those left at home while their neighbors traveled to the holy land, as well as those who could make the trip only once in a lifetime, sought a way to make a pilgrimage of the spirit along the way of the cross. Some achieved this by visiting a series of chapels, others wayside shrines, others by arranging artwork around the walls of a church or a cloister. For each, however, the aim was to make a series of “stations,” (stopping points) in order to pray and to meditate on some part of the passion narrative.

While the number and type of stations varied, by the seventeenth century a relatively standard list of stations had emerged:

  1. Jesus is condemned to death;
  2. Jesus takes up his cross;
  3. Jesus falls the first time;
  4. Jesus meets His afflicted Mother;
  5. The cross is laid on Simon of Cyrene;
  6. A woman wipes the face of Jesus;
  7. Jesus falls a second time;
  8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem;
  9. Jesus falls a third time;
  10. Jesus is stripped of His garments;
  11. Jesus is nailed to the cross;
  12. Jesus dies on the cross;
  13. The body of Jesus is placed in the arms of his mother;
  14. Jesus is laid in the tomb.

Devotions might be made at these stations privately or in groups, praying silently or aloud, with or without music. While the Episcopal Church has devised a set of devotions for the Book of Occasional Services, any number of different devotions are appropriate.

At 6:30pm on Tuesday evenings during Lent*, we invite you to join us at the Church of the Holy Trinity for Stations of the Cross. We will gather at the front of the front of the church.

*Except for March 25th, when we will join our sister parishes at the Cathedral of St. James for the Feast of the Annunciation.

How do We Hear God Calling to Us?

O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people; Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, )

Lent is a time when we focus on our obedience (or lack thereof) to the will of God. The word obey comes from the Latin word ob-audire, literally, to act upon what one hears. This is what the Epistle of James is getting at when he bids us to “be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves” (James 1:22). Before we can act upon what we hear, however, we must first hear what God is saying.Ear trumpet

We humans are ingenious at finding ways to avoid hearing God’s call. Lucky for us, God is persistent! If one way of getting through to us doesn’t work, He tries another, and another, and another.  Sometimes he uses words, sometimes he uses . . . other means.

Join us this Lent for a bible study that explores a few of the ways in which we do or do not hear God’s voice when He calls to us. Our goal will be to improve our hearing, so that we may be prepared to follow where the Shepherd is leading us.

Soup and Scripture at Seven

(Tuesday Evenings in Lent, after Confessions and Stations of the Cross)

March 11—Playing in the Dirt (Matthew 13: 1-23)

March 18—Anywhere but that! (Jonah 1:1-16)

March 25—No Study (Celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation at the Cathedral)

April 1—Fools speak folly (Isaiah 32:1-8)

April 8—Mirror, mirror (James 1:17-35)

April 15—Listening for His Voice in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46)