Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Holy Week

Well, haven't felt like posting to the ol' blog of late, but thought that I'd post some Holy Week thoughts . . .

I really love Holy Week. There's so much hubbub around Christmas, so many extra activities that make it such a hectic time of the year. But Holy Week is different. For me it is very meditative, spending so much time in the Word, thinking and writing.

We had brief online Vespers services again this year for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I did this last year, reading through the Passion accounts of the various Gospels. This year we read through sections of John chapter 12 - the Gospels assigned for this time of year, and I wrote brief meditations on them. You can read them here.

Tomorrow I have to go to pick up the chairs we are renting for our regular Holy Week services and set up the house church where we will be. Yes, a house church, because we cannot use the church we rent for Sunday mornings during the week. So each Holy Week we have to set up at a different location. This year is a new location, so in addition to renting chairs, I need to go and figure out the logistics of it all. It makes it all a bit harder - both for me and for the folks - but that is what we must do. Someday, perhaps, we will have our own building . . .

Private Absolution tomorrow night as well. An hour before the main service in the evening. A very good way to begin the Holy Week observances.

I occasionally watch some of the big services that go on at the Vatican on their YouTube channel. I have them on in the background while I'm working on other things. Helping me to learn Italian! (Like I need to learn yet another language! :-) But seriously, one of the things that always strikes me is during the reading of the Passion story - St. Peter's square is packed solid with people, but right after the reading of Jesus' death, everyone drops to their knees and you can hear a pin drop! And they stay that way for some time in meditation. Now, I still disagree with Rome on some of their theology, but I gotta admire that piety.

I also like listening to the St. John Passion this week. It is - bar none - the greatest work ever written, in my humble opinion. If you want to see one of the finest performances of it, go here. You will not regret it! (Note: The close captioned translations of the German are not always the best, but they give you the gist. Also, there's a bit of a hiccup around 22:50 - not sure what that's about, but it doesn't last too long.)

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