New CD for Hidden Women of Holy Week and Easter

Relief carving of stations of the cross.
Stations of the Cross from St. John Vianney parish in Sedona, Arizona, as used in the “The Women of the Foot of the Cross.”

FutureChurch has created a new Women and the Word: Holy Week and Easter resource.  It includes a beautiful pictorial CD as well as prayer resources and suggestions for how to put “women back in the biblical picture” during Lent, Holy Week and the Easter season.

A specially created PowerPoint program contains arresting images of women leaders, ancient and modern, to accompany “The Woman at the Foot of the Cross” contemporary stations written by Barbara Litrell, Robin Cameron, and Margaret Swavely for their annual Lenten observances at St. John Vianney parish in Sedona, AZ. The imagery enhances the rich and profound reflections in the prayer service.

The new resource also includes practical ideas for how to remember biblical women and bring their stories back to your faith community during Lent and the Easter season. FutureChurch reviewed the Lectionary readings during the entire Easter season and identified places where women's stories were omitted or diminished.

For example, on Easter Wednesday we hear the Emmaus reading when Jesus appears to two of his disciples.  Luke names just one, Cleopas. However, at the time the New Testament was written, if a disciple wasn't specifically named, it was often because she was a woman. Contemporary scholarship believes that the other disciple is actually Cleopas' wife, Mary.  This is because both John and Mark name “Mary the wife of Cleopas” as being present at events surrounding the passion, death and resurrection. This makes it quite likely that Mary would be present with her husband at Emmaus. Preachers are asked to explain contemporary scholarship and restore Mary's name to this powerful story. This is also a great day to honor the married couples who recognize and witness to Christ through their service to others and to the Church.

Relief carving of stations of the cross.
Photojournalist Leslie Spurlock generously shares photos from Haiti, Ethiopia and Hurricane Katrina as examples of contemporary women today.
Relief carving of stations of the cross.
The infirm, crippled woman is one of the depictions by artist Sr. Doris Klein. © Doris Klein, CSA, used with permission.

On the Monday of the sixth week of Easter, Lydia's story is told in the first reading.  Community members are encouraged to wear purple that day and a business-woman is invited to preach in remembrance of Lydia and the Macedonian faith community that she founded.  Likewise, on Pentecost Sunday, we often only hear about the men who were present, even though Acts 1 names the eleven and “some women in their company, and Mary the mother of Jesus and his brothers.”  Preachers are encouraged to educate their congregations that both women and men received the gift of the Spirit at Pentecost.

This month, the Women and the Word: Holy Week and Easter packet is the featured item in our new Magdala Market online store. Visit our website to go to the store,  learn more about the packet and enjoy free shipping.


Focus on FutureChurch

Winter 2009


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