Monday, April 21, 2014

Holy Week Report

My heart is so full! What a glorious Holy Week it was.

This year, I don't have a lot of time or pictures, since we didn't have a photographer at any of the services, so I can't do the kind of picture post I've done in previous years. Instead, I am just going to let the words of others speak for me. These were all collected from social media, so I am trusting that their authors don't mind. (If anybody wants credit, let me know. :)

Attended my first Easter Vigil last night at Light Of Christ. Loved it!!! Next year I think we are going to make attending Light of Christ for all of Holy Week a priority!

Wow! What a wonderful Easter Vigil service! Jumpin' priests, clappin' deacons...and bells and alleluias everywhere! Praise God for his love and mercy!

Here's a little video of what she's referring to, when the whole congregation acclaims "Alleluia! The Lord is risen!" and bursts forth with a "Holy Noise":

Easter Vigil at Light of Christ is always a powerful experience, and last night was no exception. Particularly moving to me was to witness the baptism of a girl who recently came to faith. Charlotte Mason wrote, "What a thought of joy at the baptismal font, of consolation throughout life amid the tossing of the waves of this troublesome world, is this of the divine Spirit coming to us, also, in the likeness of a dove." The divine Spirit came last night - in the baptism, in the prayers, and in the worship. I know I did not bring Him - I found Him there. He brought to my mind a vivid remembrance of the day when I was 16 years of age, sitting in my room, and I came to faith. What an indescribable gift, and one that is renewed every day.

The little girl referred to is Chicket's friend. What a beautiful moment. It was so wonderful to have her whole family there!

Every Easter Vigil is wonderful. Each one has its own golden moments. Last Saturday was no exception.

This year we had welcome gifts for visitors!

The altar on Easter Sunday morning

Here is the teaser video I put up on Facebook of my two sons in rehearsal for the Ezekiel reading, in the valley of the Dry Bones:

And here is a little more. Let's just say that when they actually gave the reading, B18 had a black folder in hand, not an iPhone...!

I wish I had recorded snippets of others. All went so well. I was so pleased!

Finally, this moving excerpt from a parishioner's journal about a previous Good Friday service at our church. I loved it because I had a similar sense of joy and love fill me this year at the veneration of the cross, when we place the cross on the ground and invite everyone to come forward and pray, with their hand or head upon it.

"_________ preached. He stressed how Christ paid for us completely, with no merit or contribution from us. Normally at Good Friday, I feel that I am to feel sorrow for Christ's suffering, or sorrow for my sin. I feel that I am to be somehow sad, dressed in black.

"At the veneration of the cross, I walked up to the cross, knelt down by it, and touched my head to it. I was at the base of the cross. In my mind's eye I looked up towards the top of the cross. I saw the cross not against the rug but against a clear blue sky with sunlight streaming around it.

"The music started. Instead of sorrowful tunes, it was a light and happy piece. I felt the joy well up in me that was supposed to be reserved for Easter. Good Friday is the black and sad day, but I felt warmth and joy. The sunlight from my image of the cross seemed to radiate directly to my heart. I felt as if Christ’s love was complete. I held up my hand to receive the streaming light. I remembered my confession from today. I felt the light stream back to the situations where I had sinned. I felt Christ’s mercy wash over me and cover each of those sins completely.

"__________ sang Rock of Ages. The joy and delight in my heart was complete. It was in the cross that I found the perfect joy of Christ’s love. I understand now why Catherine [of Siena] said that this love should motivate us to serve God completely – she basked in that love every day.

"Then we said the confession. My normal mood is to focus on sorrow for sin and humility. I make myself feel sorry for my sins. I wear it like a weight, like pouring ashes over myself. Suddenly the words of the confession seemed to light up on the page, as if the letters were actually in gold. The words were pure joy. I saw that I was 'lucky' to pray this prayer. It was a feeling of good fortune. It was like winning the lottTery – to say these words was to enter into the fullness of Christ’s love and mercy. I wanted to laugh. I almost whispered the words. Confession as the sweet and joyous pleasure – because by being nothing, I had the great reward – Christ and His love.

"The images were so real to me – I knew I had consolation from God. I knew I would forget it – so I had to write it down."

If anyone else wants to draw my attention to a social media posting that I missed, or send me their impressions, I would gladly add them!

Wish I had time to write more. We had so many little hitches in the first part of the Easter Vigil service, for example, but Father Rooster took lemons and made lemonade with them in his wonderful Vigil homily. Even the mistakes gave glory to God!

Praise Jesus! He is risen, and by his stripes, we are healed!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful service. So sad we couldn't be there to share it! Pianomum