Thursday, April 13, 2006

Great Thursday

Today there is hung upon the Tree He who suspended the earth upon the waters.
A crown of thorns is placed upon Him Who is the King of the angels.
With false purple is He wrapped about, He Who wrapped the heavens with clouds.
Buffetings did He receive Who freed Adam in the Jordan.
With nails was He affixed, He Who is the Bridegroom of the church.
With a lance was He pierced, He Who is the Son of the Virgin.

We worship Thy Passion, O Christ.
We worship Thy Passion, O Christ.
Show also unto us Thy glorious Resurrection.
And so the Church enters kairos, that time beyond time, where God's perfect will was from the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. Not chronos, the time we humans measure with frustration, precision, and impatience; but kairos, where past, present, and future meet and blend and interweave with one another... when all times meet Eternity, when all events are present, when we enter the Eternal Now.

And in the Eternal Now, I find thanksgiving and sadness, gratitude and loss, fullness and pain. In the Eternal Now I am with my beloved Nicholas and miss him more than words can say. I receive the Holy Embrace and weep tears of longing.

And in the Eternal Now, I rest and find peace.

3 comments:

  1. Pentha a year ago today (it's Good Friday afternoon as I write this), I attended church with my family intact.

    Today I again participated, playing my part out the front reading the Bible passage.

    What a difference a year makes I thought to myself.

    Today, I was grateful like never before, for our Lord's choice to stay on the cross and die. Through his death, and the victory over it which we will celebrate on Sunday, I have the assurance that my Michael is in paradise with Christ - and your Nicholas. And we will see them again in the place of no pain, no tears, no sadness.

    Indeed, We worship thy Passion, O Christ.

    May your kingdom come.

    Ali

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  2. Yes.

    On Thursday night, the Eastern church holds vigil for Great Friday, reading the Passion narratives from the 3 synoptic Gospels. (We have the celebration of the Holy Supper on Thursday morning.) As I lit candles before the service, I had no pleading or sorrow, but was filled with profound gratitude for Love.

    And actually, I was "fine" all through the service, basking in the beauty of the liturgy. It was only when one of Nick's good friends came up and greeted me with an embrace and asked how I was that I simply blurted out, "Missing my beloved," and started sobbing.

    "Me too," he said, "But he's here, right here."

    Until that moment, I wasn't aware of the intensity with which I was missing him. So I stood in the candlelit church, watching people venerate the cross, weeping for my husband. When I finally wiped the tears away and started walking out, a parishioner reached out for me and said, "We miss him too."

    And I started crying all over again...

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  3. Michael was an elder in our church.

    My church family are very conscious that this time last year Michael played a prominent role in guiding the worship. At times I ignore the sadness I see on their faces as they look at my children or me, because I know that if I acknowledge it or them, I may very well become a blubbering mess. I fear I have too much British heritage to acknowledge that such an occurance may actually be a healthy and healing emotional 'letting'.

    I really enjoy your descriptions of the powerful rituals of your denomination. They are truly beautiful.

    Ali.

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