Saturday, March 31, 2007

Friday/ Saturday Five: Holy Week, Batman!

OK, so I work Fridays and... it just didn't happen.

Reverendmother writes,

Well, the Clergy Superbowl is almost upon us, and so, I offer up this Friday Five (with apologies for the irreverent title):

1. Will this Sunday be Palms only, Passion only, or hyphenated?

At Big Ivy U we are hyphenating... the Palm reading will be a part of the call to worship, and then we will read the entire passion according to St. Luke. No sermon. Yippeeyiyay. Still haven't written my Good Friday sermon. Boo.

2. Maundy Thursday Footwashing: Discuss.

I like it. But there seem to be great obstacles (psychological, footwear-esque, and otherwise). And, honestly, I'm not sure it's a meaningful translation into our culture. I like what Cheesehead's doing, and I'll share here what I wrote in her comments.

I love the handwashing image. It brings in Pilate's guilt, for one thing, which, IMO, is an important corrective to the gospels saying "the Jews, the Jews" everywhere.

I once attended a Maundy Thursday service in which we washed our hands while quiet music was being played, and an actor (yes, a man) was quietly doing Lady Macbeth's speech, "Out, out damned spot," while wringing his hands.

It was powerful.

3. Share a particularly meaningful Good Friday worship experience.

Seminary. We did the Triduum in one night for a class, and we moved around the immense space of the chapel from Thursday (me) to Friday (BSFF*) to Sunday (AGSF**). On Friday we hovered... standing, as if watching, and we lived in the tension and sorrow of the moment. Oh! I miss that kind of creativity.

* Best Seminary Friend Forever
** Another Great Seminary Friend

4. Easter Sunrise Services--choose one:
a) "Resurrection tradition par excellence!"
b) "Eh. As long as it's sunrise with coffee, I can live with it."
c) "[Yawn] Can't Jesus stay in the tomb just five more minutes, Mom?!?"

The spirit says a, the flesh says c. Realistically, b, then.

5. Complete this sentence: It just isn't Easter without...

So many lilies someone has an allergy attack. And "This Is the Feast of Victory For Our God." And so many Alleluias our jaws ache. And the beauty of all God's people turning out in their very best Sunday best. And everyone's palpable pride and joy in the moment. And a nap, later.

Bonus: Any Easter Vigil aficionados out there? Please share.

Oh yes. I used to be Catholic, you know, and then Episcopalian, so I have sat and stood and knelt through many a vigil, and I do miss them so. The glory, the absolute glory of kindling, not just a candle, but an enormous, noisy flame, and watching its wildfire spread through the congregation, packed to the rafters. Oh yes.

Photo courtesy of Flickr and ACME-Nollmeyer.


Mother Laura said...

Triduum in a night--how wonderful.
Made me remember the retreat our Ignatian prayer group did in college, "From Holy Thursday to Pentecost," that recapped the dynamics in a weekend.

Good luck on the sermon!

Share Cropper said...

I love Easter vigil whether it's done at 5:30, 10:30 or an all-nighter with the service at sunrise. There's nothing quite like the paschal candle entering a dark church and the voice ringing out "The Light of Christ" with response "Thanks be to God." I get chills just thinking about it.

We did it one year at 11 pm at a very small church in Mississippi where the police came along to see what we were doing - ten of us gathered outside a darkened church with a fire burning in a hibachi - most of us dressed in dark clothes. Then entering the totally dark church with the silence and the ringing voice proclaiming the resurrection!

Magdalene6127 said...

Now that I love... the idea of the resurrection flame alarming the police! As it should be, in my opinion.

Thank you, both of you, for your responsive presence here.


Jane R said...

I LOVE footwashing -- and the first Episcopal congregation in which I landed after emigrating from the RC Church didn't have one; we changed that as time went on after some years of gradual and gentle persuasin :-) and I have a footwashing sermon from then which I also adapted for my current congregation last year. Can e-mail it to you if you want. (I think I have it on this travel computer -- am away from home for a few days.) Write me. (Note: we know each other via our mutual friend K.A.M. and an old listserv. I occasionally blog under a pseudonym - just as a comments person -- but since I have my own blog now I use my real name, so you should be able to reach me.)

LOVE the handwashing thing too though. Have never been there when it's been done but have heard accounts of it.

As for Easter Vigil, aaaah. It's not Easter without it. I've been in several congregations too small to have one but this does mean I can visit one where I don't have any responsibilities and just pray. Missed it last year though -- too exhausted by first year of full time teaching on the tenure track plus church things. So I was quiet and rested before Easter Sunday.

Peace to you. It's been fun running into you in comments sections of various places I frequent in the Episcopal blogosphere and on your own blog!

Magdalene6127 said...

Jane R! Wonderful to hear from you! Yes, KAM is in Mississippi right now with a group doing Katrina follow up work of some sort.

I must say, I've been sucked into the Episcopal blogosphere more and more lately-- it's better than television, that's for sure. I'm so very proud of your House of Bishops... makes me wish I were an Episcopalian. Perhaps the PCUSA will see the light sometime soon.

Blessings to you, Jane. My mom's name was Jane R, you know-- it gave me a bit of a start to see that configuration in my comments! Great to hear from you.