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The Triduum

As I write this we are fast approaching the halfway point of Lent.  What is Lent?

"Early Christians observed "a season of penitence and fasting" in preparation for the Paschal feast, or Pascha (BCP, pp. 264-265). The season now known as Lent (from an Old English word meaning "spring," the time of lengthening days) has a long history. Originally, in places where Pascha was celebrated on a Sunday, the Paschal feast followed a fast of up to two days. In the third century this fast was lengthened to six days. Eventually this fast became attached to, or overlapped, another fast of forty days, in imitation of Christ's fasting in the wilderness. The forty-day fast was especially important for converts to the faith who were preparing for baptism, and for those guilty of notorious sins who were being restored to the Christian assembly. In the western church the forty days of Lent extend from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday, omitting Sundays. The last three days of Lent are the sacred Triduum of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Today Lent has reacquired its significance as the final preparation of adult candidates for baptism. Joining with them, all Christians are invited "to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God's holy Word" (BCP, p. 265).1"  Baptisms are unusual during Lent, although those wishing to be baptized are being prepared for that sacrament during those 40 days.  This seems especially true in the Orthodox church.

We hear about Lent quite a bit, so this month I wanted to move on from the period of Lent, to the ending of Lent - most specifically to the last three days of Holy Week prior to Easter - Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and The Great Vigil - the Triduum.  The Triduum is described as "The three holy days, or Triduum, of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday are at the heart of the Holy Week observance.  Holy Week ends at sundown on the Saturday before Easter, or with the celebration of the Easter Vigil."I have heard the Triduum described as one service, split up into three days. 

Maundy Thursday (29 March) observes the night on which Jesus was betrayed.  The rituals often observed include washing of parish member's feet after the gospel and homily.  Consecration of bread and wine may occur for administration of Holy Eucharist on Good Friday.  Following the Eucharist, the altar is stripped and all decorative banners and linens are removed from the nave.3

Good Friday (30 March) commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus.  Although we hear the Passion Gospel from Mark on Palm Sunday, Good Friday presents us with the account of the Passion from John.  Solemn collects (which date from ancient Rome) are read.  Some fast or perform special acts of discipline and self-denial.4  Many parishes present the Stations of the Cross prior to this service. 

The Easter Vigil (31 March) concludes the Triduum.  This liturgy is the first (some would argue the primary) celebration of Easter and consists four parts:

  1. Service of Light, when the new fire is lit, the Paschal Candle is lit from the new fire, and the Exsultet is read or sung.
  2. Service of Lessons, where Hebrew scriptures are read, with psalms, canticles and prayers mixed in.
  3. Christian initiation, including baptisms and Renewal of Baptismal Vows.
  4. The Eucharist.

The Easter Vigil links the meaning of Jesus’ death and rise to the understanding of Baptism.5

For those who have never attended the Triduum, I would encourage you to do so.  Attending all three services has always left me with feelings of the awe and wonder of the death and resurrection of our Savior.


  1. https://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/glossary/lent
  2. http://archive.episcopalchurch.org/109399_14524_ENG_HTM.htm
  3. https://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/glossary/maundy-thursday
  4. https://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/glossary/good-friday
  5. https://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/glossary/easter-vigil


This month's Blog/Refelection was provided by Bryan Irvine

Winter Musings

Winter Musings

A lot has been happening here at St. David's.  Have you noticed?

I'm not talking about our ordinary activities, which we seem to grow numb to.  Look at our monthly calendar and you can see how active our building is in both our church and outside community.  From various support groups, sporting activities (pickleball, anybody) and interest groups (a quilting group just chose to start meeting in our building) to internal uses such as bible groups, Education for Ministry, and Daughters of the King, many people use our facility - and that is a GREAT thing even if it keeps me busy.

January brought a high profile diocesan youth event to St. David's when Miqra arrived during MLK weekend.  This year, due to construction at Grace Cathedral, we hosted both Senior and Junior high groups in a "megamiqra."  We may have had a fair bit of snow that weekend but it did not stop the fun.  The participants made it through the entire bible and even read from the apocrypha before the event ended on Monday morning.

When adult education started this year, it quickly outgrew the conference room so had to be moved to the St. Phillip's Room (SPPR).  Although it provided the necessary space, the seating in there left a lot to be desired, and the room provided no audiovisual support for the lectures and lessons being presented.

January saw the purchase of a 55" flat screen TV for use in that room.  It was put to use almost immediately once I managed to get it mounted and the various cables ran.  We now have the ability to do presentations in that room, via computer (although the presenter will need to bring the computer or laptop) or DVD.  It would be nice to have a computer in there full time, but that likely is down the road a bit.

Speaking of the seating in the SPPR, the Vestry has authorized the purchase of several tables and chairs to replace the plastic folding tables in there now, and provide more comfortable seating than the plastic chairs and heavy pew chairs in that room now.  Hopefully all that will be installed soon, but I don't have any dates for that as of this publication.

The web site is also humming along.  I often wonder how many people look at our site.  I try to put new things on it frequently.  The news feed, accessed from the "Recent News" button (along with the "Church News" entry in the the Socialzone toolbar button) is usually updated three to five times a week.  As information on services change, I will post that as soon as possible.  When weather is a factor, information regarding that will usually be found on our home page.

The web site also contains information on our leadership, and how to reach them.  All our regular publications, including Vestry minutes, ATTs, Messengers, and Annual Meeting information are there for your viewing pleasure.  Please check the site frequently for the latest information that effects our parish.  If you wish to suggest things for the web site, please  webadmin [at] stdavidschurch [dot] com (email )me!

We are approaching Lent and then Easter.  Spring is coming! 

Peace be to you all!

This month's blog is from Bryan Irvine
He is our building manager and web site administrator

Outreach Plans for reaching out even more in 2018

As we begin a new year, Outreach Ministry has new and exciting plans.  Of course, we will continue with our monthly lunches every fourth Wednesday at Let’s Help, monthly collections in the bins in the narthex, and sales from the Servant Shop. 

In January, we will continue our long tradition of supporting Doorstep by joining with three other congregations to fill the food pantry and help in the clothing bank.  For more details and to participate, contact Sharon Koepke at 478-1329.

Also in January we will be holding meetings to discuss building on our ministry for children in need.  2017 was our first year to serve for six weeks as a site for the Summer Lunch Program with USD 501 as sponsor.  We are recommending that this not only be continued but that we explore expansion during the summer and, possibly, after school during the school year.  Keep on the lookout for the meeting dates and times.

We have recommended that St. David’s join 20 other congregations in Shawnee County and become a member of Topeka JUMP.  The Vestry will be considering this when it meets in January.  For more information about Topeka JUMP, go to topekajump.weebly.com

We have several other new activities that will be considered when we meet during 2018. Our meetings are at the church on the second Wednesday of each month at 6:30 pm.  ALL ARE WELCOME!

This month's blog is from Larry Buening

Larry chairs the Outreach Committee

Junior Warden Insights

Do you notice all the things that need to be repaired, cleaned, replaced, and straightened up when you are in St. David’s? Like many other things in my experience, the Jr. Warden has a whole lot more work to do than I ever noticed when someone else had the responsibility. Hiring someone to scrape the parking lot and sidewalks when it snows, turn off the sprinkler system, arrange to have the fire safety and security systems monitored and repaired, get parishioners together to clean, have the carpets cleaned (have we ever done that in this building?), schedule the electrician to have bulbs and ballasts replaced, evaluate the work done and deciding if we need to change vendors - this is just a small sample of what Junior Wardens do. 

Thank goodness someone stepped up to get rid of that ugly storage shed that we haven’t used in a few years.  We still need to find someone to haul off that ugly, faded sign at the east end of the church.

We now have several security cameras monitoring entrances and movement at doors and in hallways, while being sensitive to the privacy of those who use our building.

All of this requires input from and approval from the Vestry! 

One last note - our parking lot is in need of repairs or refurbishment.  The Vestry and I are aware of this and are looking at various options for this work.

This month's blog is from Lynda Crowl
Lynda is our Jr. Warden

Parish Life

St. David’s is a caring community that has roots in the community, but also is always seeking ways to reach in to the parish as well, finding ways for parish members to engage one another.  Our Inreach Ministry is charged with this.  Steve Crowl chairs this committee.

The Inreach Ministry’s mission is to insure that parishioners have opportunities to care for one another, share with each other and continue their spiritual journey.  It is divided into several groups, including a very active Parish Life committee led by Barb Waters.

Parish Life organizes our St. David’s Day luncheon, as well as other meals during the year such as the annual Lenten Soup Suppers.  They have also sponsored other meals throughout the year, ice cream socials, and so much more.

A major event put on by Parish Life is the annual Holidy Bazaar.  It is now in its eighth year and is the major fundraiser for our parish family.  The Bazaar offers numerous handmade gifts, stocking stuffers, and includes a bake sale.    This year’s Bazaar will be on November 4th from 8am through 4pm. Breakfast will be available for purchase that morning as well.

Parish Life always welcomes anyone who would like to be a part of the team, and always appreciates extra hands during the Bazaar. If interested in helping out, or if you would like to join the Parish Life team, feel free to contact watersrptgtopeka [at] aol [dot] com (Barb Waters)!


Barb Waters

This month's blog is by Barb Waters.
She leads the Parish Life committee


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