monday i had my routine dental check and he found a cavity…the air-conditioner-installers started work…the wind blew down another tree…complained…
tuesday the a/c guys cut the ceiling for the vents, spilling plaster so thick and gritty that it took 3 cleanings…rainy rain..saw pictures of nancy davis’s almost-flooded house and felt extremely guilty for complaining
wednesday the electricians found a glitch in their plans, but managed to stay on course and finish the job…raining rain… watched the footage of the tuscaloosa tornado and felt extremely guilty for complaining…
thursday had a challenging day at school and at choir practice…heard that my friends joe and angela, who live in tuscaloosa, are okay and felt extremely guilty for complaining…
friday: The Royal Wedding…Sunshine…TGIF…no complaints…
i think “resurrection sunday” a better name for this holy day, but a “resurrection bunny” would be difficult to market. the central feast of the liturgical year, it’s the Big Day, peppered with enthusiastic “he is risen” dialogues and saturated with bright music. folks who haven’t gone to church all year haul out their good clothes, buy the kids some new shoes, and show up on easter. the church was all gussied up like a wedding chapel. other than more music, the service is generally the same…centered around the lord’s supper. when i arrived at church around 5am, it was pouring rain. inside the sanctuary, the roof was leaking again and guys were placing buckets in a crooked line down the side aisles. the pastor had taken great pains to use different hymns at each service, and i liked the early service choices best. “awake, my heart with gladness” started us out well. a chuch fella played trumpet; the bell choir played a couple of songs. my prelude was “low in the grave”, very fun to play. despite the weather, there was a big crowd, many of whom stayed for breakfast after the service. i got the sunday school kids to stand still and practice their song after their egg hunt…a major feat. they sang a really cute song, “the stone was rolled away” during the offertory and did a great job (all 3 of them). the choir sang during the second service, too. i started to get reallyreally sleepy during the second sermon, but it was the better of the two, so i managed to stay focused. after church, i felt a little sad and lot exhausted.
we came back home to a chicken in the crockpot, not your traditional ham, but tasty nonetheless. next week is going to seem like a vacation after the last 50 days.
holy saturday is historically the day that people are baptized or catachumens are brought into the church during a service called the great easter vigil or the paschal vigil. held between sunset and sunrise, it is the first time we are allowed to sing the gloria (glory to god in the highest) or any alleluias since giving them up for the 50-day season of lent. ours was billed as the great easter vigil, a service of light, as we started in darkness and gradually re-introduced the light and the acclamations during the ceremony.
starting in the back of the church carrying candles, our usual group of saturday-night revelers proceeded down the aisle with candles, the pastor carrying the christ candle, praying some powerful prayers and speaking again our baptismal vow to continue steadfast in the faith and promise of that sacrament. as the pastor announces our new birth of water and the spirit, the bells ring, the lights come on, the acolytes light the candles at the altar, and we have our first celebration of easter 2011.
by far, this was the “easiest” service i played this week–3 hymns and a postlude–so i had time to think of my daughter, a catachumen that same day in a different time zone. these sacraments bind us together throughout time. Hallelujah!!
still the old-fashionista, it’s good friday to me, but holy friday is all right if you prefer. our stormy weather was a perfect backdrop to the tenebrae service. at the end of the maundy thursday service our altar was stripped and by this evening it had been dressed with black vestments and the tenebrae “hearse” which holds fifteen candles with the Christ candle in the middle. the service consists of 3 “nocturns” which are 3 psalms each, 3 readings from lamentations, and 3 from hebrews, while extinguishing candles after each reading. i was a last-minute reader as well as pianist, and read psalm 16, psalm 4, and psalm 85. the music was in a minor key; a soloist sang “he was born to die”. by the end of the cycle of bible readings and hymns, the church was nearly dark and the acolyte removed the christ candle. we read together psalm 51 and afterward heard (nearly jumped out of my skin) the strepitus which is 3 loud bangs like a nail being hammered or a door being slammed. these are to signify the crucifixion, the tomb being closed, the earthquake, etc. then the christ candle is replaced on the altar to signify that jesus will return. and we all walk out in silence.
the description makes it sound complicated, and indeed there is a lot of meaning there, but it is a very moving ceremony. if you get a chance, read those psalms i read….good stuff.
i’m an old-fashioned gal, still referring to this day as maundy as opposed to holy…what christians actually agree on is that this is the day that jesus had his last supper, saying the quite shocking words: this is my body, this is my blood. tradition around these parts generally avoids the whole foot-washing ceremony, thanks to folks being a little shy about exposing their stinky peds. and there’s the drama of judas leaving the supper to betray jesus for 40 pieces of silver, but that’s a story better left to good friday.
so after 50-some-odd years of maundy thursdays, i heard a new twist on the word: most scholars agree that the word is derived from the old french and middle english “mande”, from the latin “mandatum” from the first word of the phrase (in latin) that jesus spoke to the disciples as he washed their feet: a new commandment i give unto you: that ye love one another as i have loved you. (john 13:34). that is from both tonight’s sermon and wikipedia….
what it really amounts to, in my humble opinion, is that we celebrate the anniversary of the first communion….by having communion. people thinking somewhat alike coming together to participate in a long-held tradition that brings us closer…loving one another…
i haven’t carried on too much lately about my great love for my great-nieces-and-nephews, but i’ll make up for it today. they are: alex(andra), ben, berkeley, briley, noah,and sam. i love having them over to play and they seem to enjoy themselves, too. olivia loves being carried around now, so a great time was had by all. we had a cold, cloudy, wet, windy day, but managed to squeeze in the hunt after lunch.
at first, it was every child for her/his self………….
soon, there was some group work….
then, there’s opening the eggs and counting…
somehow we ended up with more eggs than we hid…?? math? we found one out in the trellis garden today, and i expect we’ll find more as time goes on. it will sure bring back some wonderful memories when i spot a plastic egg filled with some smarties this fall….
next sunday starts the most intense music week of my year: 7 services, including 3 in one 12-hour period. so, of course, my shoulder is painful and my fingers are numbly. i’m going to get by the chiropractor this week….
did you watch the “shut down the government” hysteria last week? were you believing it was real for a moment or so, when you suddenly realized it’s just another show? and then maybe you felt a little foolish or scared, depending on what time of night it was? i generally just read the news, and a brief watch of shouting heads sent me back to google for my info.
we’ve gotten out all of the easter decorations in prep for the upcoming Easter Egg Hunt this saturday at 12:15. we’re going to have subway sandwiches, chips, cookies, some sort of syrupy drinks and whatever chocolate i can fit in. the weather forcast is for rain and a high of 48!!! i’m not sure i can get the force-field up in time to thwart this nasty turn, but i’ll try. but hey, bring a hoodie and you’ll be fine. it’s all about being together and i can hardly wait to see my greats. olivia, too. i realize there are people reading this who are saying…how rude, why doesn’t she invite me?… well, you are invited…just let me know by thursday and i’d love to see you.