Algoma Deanery Week of April 3, 2023

Good day,

Please note that the usual Men’s Breakfast hosted at the Trinity Centre in the Soo – usually the 2nd Saturday of each month – will not be held in April since it lands on Holy Saturday.

There are a few events already on tap for May: 

Monday, May 1, 9:30am at St. George, Echo Bay is the free monthly breakfast with guest speaker.

Saturday, May 6, 8am – 2pm is Echo Bay for Sale with treasures and food and baking available at St. George, Echo Bay.

Saturday, May 6 is also the annual Accessory boutique held by St. Luke’s ACW. 10am – 3pm at the cathedral. 

Of course, our synod is the following week. Those of you who are involved will be getting plenty of information sent your way so I won’t say anything more now. 

A Liturgical Note For You:

Why Red? This week you will see red hangings and altar covers in your church buildings – and in the vestments worn by your presider and servers (but not Lay Readers). Here is what “red” indicates as a colour used in traditional icons:

Red: This is the color of heat, passion, love, life and life-giving energy, and for this very reason red became the symbol of the resurrection – the victory of life over death. The Anglican Church also associates red with the Holy Spirit as “the Lord, the giver of life.”  But at the same time, it is the color of blood and torments, and the color of Christ’s sacrifice. Martyrs (like Stephen) are depicted in red clothing on icons.  

We are now in Holy Week: There are never any calendar observances of other prominent Christian persons or days during Holy Week since the sole focus is on Jesus’ journey to the cross and his resurrection.  It is during this week that we gain the cross as our particularly poignant Christian symbol and have instituted for us, by Jesus, our central act of Christian unity with each other and with God – the Eucharist that we share in lives of humble service. Jesus showed us how to be the servants of all when he, the Master, washed the feet of his disciples. 

For a very brief rundown of the origins of Holy Week along with the importance of Easter, check out p.296 of the BAS: The Book of Alternative Services of the Anglican Church of Canada (

Although no Memorials or Commemorations are celebrated during Holy Week, you may wish to personally observe Memorializing the Covenant on Wednesday, April 5. This is a memorial of when, in 1994, a small group of Indigenous Anglican leaders met in Winnipeg and wrote the National Native Covenant in response to the apology that Primate Michael Peers had spoken, in August of 1993, on behalf of the Anglican Church of Canada for the damages incurred by Indigenous people from their experiences in residential school operated by the church. The apology and the covenant have been, and remain, foundational in the work of healing and reconciliation that is ongoing. Here is the prayer:

Creator God, from you every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. You have grounded us in your covenant love, and empowered us by your Spirit to speak the truth in love, and to walk in your way towards justice and wholeness. Mercifully grant that your people, journeying together in partnership, may be strengthened and guided to help one another grow into the full stature of Christ, who is our light and our life. Amen.

What is Tenebrae: The Office of Shadows? Tenebrae comes from the Latin word meaning “darkness” or “shadows”. The name of Tenebrae, for centuries, has been given to the traditional monastic services of night (Mattins; 3am – dawn) and early morning (Lauds; dawn, varies seasonally) of the final three days of Holy Week. In medieval times these Tenebrae offices began to be celebrated during the evening preceding (perhaps for the benefit of those of us who don’t get up in the middle of the night and again at dawn to pray) 🙂  

Anglicans typically only hold an office of Tenebrae on the Wednesday evening of Holy Week since we desire to have the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday worship services as our principal worship services on the other two traditional days of the Tenebrae office. 

The main liturgical feature of Tenebrae is the gradual extinguishing of candles and other lights in the church building until only one candle – a symbol of our Lord – remains. This candle is hidden, indicating the apparent victory of the forces of darkness, but then there is a loud noise – the earthquake at the Resurrection – and the hidden candle is restored to its place. Our one service of Tenebrae draws material from the original three services of Tenebrae. You can find more information here, on page 66:

I will send our more information later rather than overwhelming you with one very lengthy email trying to cover this crucially important week for us.

In the hope of Christ,


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