Think upon THIS Holy Week as a week away, locked in your favourite Church! I say this because it really is a wonderful time to experience TOGETHER the mystery and love of Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection and in that order.
The ancient office of Compline (Sunday to Wednesday) will be supplemented by a poem and a short meditation. It should be a relaxing way in to all the different emotions and drama of the next great THREE days (Triduum) of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.
These are even more important than Easter Sunday because they help us to participate in the unfolding stories and meaning of each ‘event’. However, we are not the ‘audience’ or ‘onlookers’ because we as Church (you and me) are pilgrims on The Way together. We have tried to simplify the services this year without, hopefully, losing the sense of ‘imagining’ how these days together can stretch and develop our faith and worship.
Nobody said that it would be easy. To stay and watch with Christ ‘in vigil’ on Maundy Thursday and Holy Saturday requires our attention as well as devotion, not least because God can and does speak to us. We hear God’s voice not only in the words and music of each service but also in the silences, in the different symbolic actions and movements we take, from the Liturgy of Palm Sunday onwards.
I encourage you all to take ‘time out’ and ‘hol(y)day’ with us. “Begin afresh, afresh, afresh” as Philip Larkin once said so that, when Easter-tide comes we can all say we have ‘grown’ spiritually this Spring!