Gathered Wisdom, March 23, 2021

A weekly collection of inspiration and resources for the journey, gathered from websites, books, and pass-alongs that have been shared with us. From The Wisdom Years – Spirituality for the Last Third of Our Lives.


We’re invited to practice remaining still before the Lord, ready to notice the visit from an angel delivering God’s Divine message of Silence. As this luminous darkness unfolds within, a peace and joy, beautiful beyond beauty, is born in our hearts, like a flower blooming in the desert. Out of this fertile silence, God’s Eternal Word is born, and so we bear the fruit of Christ’s Light by word, deed, and presence in the world.

Br. Nicholas Bartoli
Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Holy Week

Holy Week begins Sunday, March 28, with the Palm Sunday ritual of recalling Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Whatever Holy Week means to you – whether you attend formal worship services every day as an act of contrition and faithfulness or merely celebrate Easter as an indication of the arrival of spring, this week is an opportunity to quietly sit with God, in the garden if you like.

As Brother Bartoli notes above, this week offers an opportunity to engage  a practice of intentional silence and solitude for a brief period each day. One possibility is the use of the Centering Prayer method taught by Thomas Keating.

Learn more about Centering Prayer and other quiet practices at Contemplative Outreach. 

The brothers of SSJE offer resources for praying each day of Holy Week with selections of music, sermons, videos, and photographs.

Find the full range of resources here. 

Below see worship opportunities for Holy Week from Washington National Cathedral and the Society of St. John the Evangelist. 

The Agony in the Garden – The Special Place of Loneliness

By Fr. Ron Rolheiser

“It’s Jesus, the lover, the one who calls us to intimacy and delight with him, who sweats blood in the garden. That’s why, in describing his suffering during his passion, the evangelists focus little on his physical sufferings (which must have been horrific). Indeed, Mark puts it all in a single line: ‘They led him away and crucified him.’ What the gospel writers focus on is not the scourging, the whips, the ropes, the nails, the physical pain, none of that. They emphasize rather that, in all of this, Jesus is alone, misunderstood, lonely, isolated, without support, unanimity-minus-one.”

Read the essay.

Unless …

By the Rev. Mike Marsh
From a sermon preached on March 21, 2021

“We all have our ‘unlesses.’ They are lenses through which we see. They are the restrictions, limitations, and conditions that shape and inform our relationships and understanding of each other, Jesus, and ourselves.”

Read the sermon.

Musing on the Season

By Parker Palmer
From Daily Good

“I love the fact that the word ‘humus’–the decayed vegetable matter that feeds the roots of plants–comes from the same word root that gives rise to the word ‘humility.’ It is a blessed etymology. It helps me understand that the humiliating events of life, the events that leave ‘mud on my face’ or that ‘make my name mud,’ may create the fertile soil in which something new can grow.”

Read the essay.

Worship Opportunities for Holy Week

From Washington National Cathedral

The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday
Sunday, March 28, 11:15am (Eastern time)

The Cathedral opens Holy Week with a service marking the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and move to the story of Christ’s utter rejection and crucifixion outside the gates of the city.

This live webcast will be available on the Cathedral’s website, Facebook and YouTube channels.

Maundy Thursday
April 1, 7 pm (Eastern time)
Holy Eucharist with Stripping of the Altar

Maundy Thursday begins the Great Three Days (The Triduum) as we remember the Last Supper, the agony in the garden of Gethsemane and Jesus’ journey to the cross and crucifixion.

This service will be streamed on the Cathedral’s website.

Good Friday
Friday, April 2, 12:00pm (Eastern time)
Solemn Liturgy of Good Friday

On this most solemn of days, we offer a service of scripture, music, ancient prayer to mark the suffering, crucifixion, and death of Jesus Christ.

This service will be streamed here on the Cathedral’s website, YouTube page and Facebook page.

Easter Sunday,
April 4, 11:15 am (Eastern time)
Festival Holy Eucharist

The Cathedral proclaims the raising of Jesus Christ from the dead through word and song in a festive service marking the beginning of the Easter season.

The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith presides and the Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde preaches.

The service will be streamed on the Cathedral’s website, YouTube page and Facebook page. 

From Society of St. John the Evangelist

All the major liturgies of Holy Week will be live-streamed at or on the Friends of SSJE Facebook page.

Times are Eastern.

The Sunday of the Passion:
Palm Sunday – March 28

9:00 am – Blessing of Palms & Holy Eucharist
4:00 pm – Evening Prayer

Maundy Thursday– April 1
7:30 pm – Holy Eucharist with Foot-washing
9:00 pm-7:00 am – Watch before the Reserved Sacrament

Good Friday – April 2
7:30 pm – Liturgy of the Passion and Holy Communion

Holy Saturday – April 3
6:00 pm – Evening Prayer

Sunday of the Resurrection:
Easter Day – April 4

4:30 am – The Great Vigil of Easter
5:00 pm – Evening Prayer

Gathered Wisdom is taking its own advice and sitting in silence next week. We will return on Tuesday, April 6. We wish you a joyous Easter.

If you have something to add to Gathered Wisdom, send it to Marjorie George at

Gathered Wisdom is from The Wisdom Years, a ministry that invites older adults to deepening spirituality in the last third of their lives. If someone forwarded this to you, learn more about The Wisdom Years and subscribe to the site at

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