A note from Pastor Anne Grizzle
The Lenten and Easter season were observed in solemn and joyful ways at Boys Home of Virginia. Before our Ash Wednesday service, the students gathered to help burn the palms to make the ashes which would be used. As we both had imposition of ashes and communion, I reminded them of their being beloved dust for whom Jesus would shed his blood to give that dust everlasting life.
Holy Week began with a Palm Sunday procession through the streets of Covington with other gathered churches preceding the service at Emmanuel Episcopal Church. Three of the students did a marvelous job reading the long passion gospel in parts. The remainder of the services were held at Boys Home. Maundy Thursday service included a foot washing where all who wished could have their feet washed and in turn wash another's feet. The institution of the Lord's supper included home baked communion bread brought to the table. Good Friday had a solemn service in the chapel that included the veneration of a cross made of wooden sticks by one of the students. During the afternoon, a large group of staff and students walked three miles up the mountain doing the stations of the cross. Holy Saturday, the day of waiting, turned out to have an impromptu service. Loretta Reed, a dining hall employee, was burned badly in a kitchen accident and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. One of the students asked if we could pray. At dinner we prayed, but also invited anyone who wanted to come to the chapel for prayer after dinner. Over twenty staff and students came. We offered prayers and scripture readings for Holy Saturday with special prayers focused on healing and comfort for Ms. Reed.
Easter Sunday was joyous and a historic day at Boys Home. The boys got up early and started walking up the mountain at 5:00 a.m. to arrive in time for a sunrise service. The Easter vigil began around a big campfire from which the Paschal candle was lit and everyone there then lit their smaller candles. Four students read Old Testament passages of creation, exodus, prophetic hope, and God gathering his people. Everyone then moved to face East and gather around a newly erected wooden cross and stone altar. I blessed the new altar and cross, sprinkling them with water and offering prayers. Then came our alleluias with bells rung by all and the gospel reading. Mr. Louis Sarratt, the builder of the cross and altar, gave a testimony and then sang "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross." After Easter homily, communion, and singing, everyone feasted on breakfast in the newly painted lodge and around the fire. Once the students had come back down to campus, we offered an Easter egg hunt and games on the field. What joy to celebrate our Lord's resurrection so fully!
To reach Anne Grizzle, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastor Anne Grizzle with Louis Sarratt