11 April 2017

Reflections in Holy Week 2017 (2),
Tuesday, Saint Brendan’s, Kilnaughtin

The Wise and Foolish Bridesmaids (Matthew 25: 1-13) … one of the themes of the Tuesday in Holy Week in the Orthodox tradition

Patrick Comerford

Tuesday of Holy Week, 11 April 2017

8 p.m., Late Evening Office,

Saint Brendan’s Church, Kilnaughtin, Tarbert, Co Kerry.

Readings: Psalm 31: 1-6; John 12: 20-36.

Hymns: 66, Before the ending of the day; 216, And can it be.

May I speak to you in the name of + the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Throughout this week, as we journey together through Holy Week, we continue the gradual build-up from Palm Sunday, with services each evening in this group of parishes. We were in Saint Mary’s, Askeaton yesterday [10 April 2017]. This evening [11 April] we are here in Saint Brendan’s, Tarbert. Tomorrow, we journey on to Rathkeale, then to Castletown for the Maundy Eucharist on Thursday evening, so that we can mark Good Friday prayerfully and appropriately in Saint Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Rathkeale, at noon on Friday and in Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton that evening.

All this is to prepare us to celebrate the Resurrection, on Easter Eve in Castletown and on Easter Morning in Tarbert, Askeaton and Rathkeale.

In the Gospel reading for this Tuesday in Holy Week (John 12: 20-36), Christ tells his disciples that the hour for him to be glorified has come – the hour when he will be lifted up from the earth.

Traditionally, this Tuesday in Holy Week is also associated with the encounter between Christ and Pharisees, when they try to trap him into making a blasphemous remark, and with his discourse with his disciples on the Mount of Olives about the destruction of Jerusalem and the signs of the last day.

The theme for Orthodox services on Tuesday is found in the parable of the Wise and Foolish Bridesmaids (Matthew 25: 1-13), and the parable of the Talents (Matthew 25: 14-30).

These are understood as parables of vigilance and judgment, emphasising our need to accept responsibility for our own lives. They also develop and elaborate the note of judgment found in the Bridegroom motif on these first three days of Holy Week: when the bridegroom comes at Easter, we must be prepared.

Are we prepared?

The Collect of the Day:

O God,
who by the passion of your blessed Son made
an instrument of shameful death
to be for us the means of life:
Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ,
that we may gladly suffer pain and loss
for the sake of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A modern icon of the Wise and Foolish Bridesmaids (Matthew 25: 1-13) … one of the themes of the Tuesday in Holy Week in the Orthodox tradition

(Revd Canon Professor) Patrick Comerford is Priest-in-Charge, the Rathkeale and Kilnaughtin Group of Parishes. This Holy Week Reflection was prepared for Saint Brendan’s Church, Kilnaughtin, Tarbert, Co Kerry, on 11 April 2017.

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