Monday, April 13, 2009
Well. It was the best Triduum ever... and it got better and better as it went along. Good attendance at the Holy Week Eucharists. Good turn-out for the Agape supper and Pedilavium and stripping of the altar on Maundy Thursday; our new Honorary Assistant preached well and energetically and washed feet with comparable energy.
Small but focussed group for the Children's Way of the Cross on Friday morning.
To my very great joy, a couple of young parents from the congregation agreed to take responsibility for the walk next Good Friday. More about that, anon.
Then the Solemn Devotions at noon -- again, a good-sized congregation, the Reproaches were most beautifully sung. There. I've said it. That I am the mother of the soloist has nothing to do with it, I swear.
Peacefulness Friday night at home; then Saturday morning a "Benedictine Day" or half-day actually, of church cleaning with prayers on the hour, with the Sanctuary Guild. And a lovely potluck lunch to conclude.
Peacefulness Saturday afternoon, and the Vigil at 8. Brand new Paschal candle of impressive length. Honorary and I managed not to immolate ourselves in the Sacred Fire, although given the wind -- and it's always windy, at the Vigil -- it was rather too close for comfort at some moments.
Some have pointed out it's hard to light a taper, let alone the big candle, from a fire in a fire-box. What is needed is a "spill" -- a nice long sliver of wood, such as cedar, to do the lighting with.
Another year it would be good, perhaps, to hold off on the lighting-up part until after the Hebrew Scriptures are read...so that it really IS in the dark.
But it went well...and at the Gloria there was a mighty and glorious bell-ringing: the tower-bell, handbells, dinner bells, cowbells, bicycle bells, Tibetan singing bowls...most glorious. As an innovation this Vigil, the Psalms and Canticles after each reading were canted, with lovely tuneful refrains, easy for the congregation to join in on. Honorary A preached again, an absolute barn-burner. What a joy...not to have to re-write one's own Easter sermon to avoid the appearance of plagiarism -- NOR to have to get up and say, "ON THE OTHER HAND"...
And then Easter morning, with a choir of 28 or 29 at both services, the Gospel Acclamation was the Hallelujah Chorus, we had guest trumpeters to put the lovely edge on the Handel (and on the hymns)...and it was church as church should be, I really felt...everybody was there, from genuine card-carrying opera stars beefing up the bass section of the choir, to schizophrenic outpatients in the front pews...and it was ALL. JUST. FINE.
The children put daffodils on the "old rugged" cross...and nobody much minded that this year's daffodils were a pretty scruffy display. Such is life.
And everybody appeared gratified to receive an Easter egg at the door!
So home to scrape together some dinner for the family. I set my timer for 15 minute bursts of work and 5 minute "sits," all afternoon, and that way, got through it and got the meal on the table all more or less as planned. Number One Son cleaned like a madman...so the abode looked less like a landfill than usual.
And finally to bed, wondering why I felt a bit weird and my rings were tight, and ears ringing...and then remembered I hadn't taken the BP meds at breakfast time. NOT GOOD.
Okay now, though.