I left you in sadness on Maundy Thursday, which continued through the morning of Good Friday, and at noon culminated in the Hour at the Cross. Seven sentences, seven meditations, seven prayers, seven pieces of music, and at the end, desolation. Few people came, and they left in silence which was bleak indeed.
A couple of hours later, things became far less bleak with our first ever children’s Easter Worskshop. I’ve been quite worried about this, but in the end it turned out well – in that we had very few children, who throughly tested and enjoyed all the activities, also we had plenty of adult help. But best of all was the collegiate feel – we were all exploring together, using the church very differently, laughing, sharing the sad bits, opening up a little. I think next year we’ll all feel a lot more confident, and so all talk about it more and get the word out. If it isn’t working after three years, we’ll try Plan B*.
And then on Holy Saturday another first – a Vigil, service of light, renewal of baptism vows. It hasn’t been tried here before, and again, I was quite nervous about it – would anyone come at all? In the end 11 of us celebrated together. We sat and told each other stories for the Vigil – Creation myth, Noah and the Flood, Abraham and Isaac, the escape of the Israelites form the Egyptians through the Red Sea. It was all very informal and chatty as we shared little nuggets of knowledge and insight.
We moved outside to light the Easter Candle. This was the main reason I wanted an evening service. Last year I brought the Easter Candle into church at 10am on a beautiful sunny morning and it felt all wrong. Since I don’t do mornings well, I didn’t even consider a Dawn Service, and went for evening instead. We all lit candles from the Easter Candle in the dark and processed it into church, singing a metrical version of the Exultet together. “Alleluia!” I yelled, and “Alleluia!!” Everyone yelled back!
We returned to the back of church to renew our Baptism Vows, and although it was informal, the Holy Spirit moved among us, Earth and Heaven met and kissed briefly.
It has been a special couple of days, and I am so grateful to the lovely people of this parish, who have tried new things, and trusted me to lead them through this Triduum.
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed. Alleluia!
*no idea. We haven’t thought of it yet.