Trinity Writers’ Group 2020 Holy Week



          Greetings! Welcome to the Trinity Writers’ Group collection of Holy Week writings. The index of writings is listed below. Click a title to read it. These pages are best viewed from a full screen computer or ipad. If you’re viewing this page from a phone, you will have to scroll below the “Index of Writings” to view the writing. You can also download a pdf copy of these writings.
by Pat Hall
          When I was about eight or ten, I chose Oak Grove Methodist Church as my Church Family, convincing my mother there was a more friendly atmosphere than the Baptist Church we were attending. We had gone to Oak Grove when I was very small but she thought, since her father and grandfather were both Baptist preachers, she should go back to “her roots” and started attending the Surry Baptist Church.
          The atmosphere was never quite right for me. It never felt warm and friendly, I never felt welcome and at home. There was no argument when I asked to return to Oak Grove. That was my Home. I think, deep down, Mom felt the same way and immediately she was immersed in every way in our little country church. She was a born leader, always ready to take charge when most of the ladies were timid about voicing an opinion or taking the lead. To their credit, they were willing to work once the project was initiated.
          Being Methodist, we always observed Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter. But, being a small country church, there were no big events held. Our pastor was also pastor for five other churches. He had to divide his time among them, holding at least 2 services each Sunday so each church could have preaching services twice a month. The church on the charge which paid the most of his salary might have had 3 services if they were lucky. And, being very independent, none of the churches wanted to combine efforts to hold a larger service for special occasions, each wanted its own with the exception of Sunrise Service which was held at the home of some of the members who lived by the James River.
          It was after I was married and joined Trinity that I began to learn more of the meaning of and the events connected with Holy Week. Even then it was over a span of years that the many activities and traditions we now observe evolved. In the 1950’s the observance was still very simple, not much more than what we did at Oak Grove. We observed Palm Sunday some years by having what appeared to be palm trees placed behind the altar rail, and they were lovely. (Something we might try again?) Then the Easter Lilies were brought on Easter Sunday, some years there were so many the pastor could hardly walk across the pulpit.
          One of the traditions introduced at Trinity and beloved by its members is the Flower Cross. A ritual since at least the 1990’s, members enjoy bringing their offerings to place upon the cross, honoring our Risen Savior and the return of spring. Of course another of the rituals is the taking of pictures by the cross in our Easter finery. Looking back at those treasured bits of family history, seeing my Mother with my grandchildren by that cross gives me so much pleasure and joy.
          The many other traditions we now observe have been added as ideas and information have been introduced, new pastors have arrived and new governing bodies have taken office. Some of the new things, to me, are really good. Some, not quite so, or not to my liking. But all of that is window dressing, to draw people in, to help them find the true meaning of Easter and learn the real message. Perhaps each new activity or program we add teaches us something about ourselves, how we should view the world or how we should treat others, and that is good. But we have to be careful of over-load. Too much information can lead to a clouding of the basic facts and truth. The window dressing is nice, but I learned the real message long ago, and that’s all I need.