I was talking with Andrea the other day and she said, "Holy week at Nashotah is like boot camp." TRUE THAT! It's pretty intense around here this week. A lot is going on, for sure!
Last night was our Tenebrae service. A beautiful service of shadows. The light is gradually extinguished and darkness is slowly entered into. The service was pretty intense here at the House, it was long and very still with only the choir singing, chanting and speaking while everyone else was just taking it in. I've been to Tenebrae services before that were a bit different, more artistic and more participatory but the drama of the story, the story of Christ's decent and our participation in that, in all the good and horrific ways, was truly on display last night.
And then the Triduum. The three days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil leading into Easter Sunday or Resurrection Sunday! Three days that are central to our salvation and life of faith. I'm thankful for a tradition that enables me to enter into this most holy of times in profound ways.
Tonight I will be the thurifer in our Maundy Thursdayservice. Swinging incense like it's my job! Having rehearsed the service I anticipate it being intense and powerful.Having rehearsed the service I anticipate it being intense and powerful.
During the service, we will have foot washings, altar-stripping and we will participate in the Eucharist as a community. There will be extra sacrament consecrated and put on a side altar. This symbolized Christ's time in the garden and the eventual abandonment by all his friends. We were asked to sign up for an hour to sit and watch and pray with Jesus, with the blessed sacrament. "Could you not wait with me one hour," Jesus asks his disciples and so too are we asked to sit and wait with Christ on the night before he is handed over to death for our salvation.
I signed up for a slot and am anticipating this hour of prayer. I'm not sure what it will be like but I trust it will be a significant part of my Holy Week experience.
You can read some great words on this by a fellow from my church. He writes about the great watch and then he writes here about the other services of Holy Week.
We'll have a Good Friday service here at the House. Then the weekend culminates with the Easter Vigil on Saturday night, which will be a festive celebration as we proclaim Christ crucified and risen! Then we get to say the "A" word again. I can't wait!
Our family will also attend the Easter service on Sunday morning with our church community, Christ Redeemer. Excited to be with those fine folks for Easter Sunday!!!
(You can read more about these different services and their significance over at this Blog... christredeemermke.org)
I hope your Holy Week is a deep and sacred time for you. That you experience Christ in his death so that you can experience his resurrection!
Grace and peace Erik