This evening, because Ros hadn’t been able to make it to any of the Good Friday services, we read through Mark’s passion narrative – lit by seven little candles surrounding a taller candle in the centre of the table and the back-light of the phone we were using to display the text.
At each point that things became noticeably worse for Jesus we blew out a candle until, at the point of his final breath, we blew out the tall candle. Once the centurion had made his proclamation, we turned off the phone and sat for a while in the darkness.
Every year, on Good Friday, during the Liturgy of the Day, our congregation processes to the front of the church and kiss the crucifix (that has just been carried forward) – in an act of veneration.
Every week, the gospel is kissed as soon as it has been read – in an act of reverence.
Every week, the priest kisses the altar – in an act of veneration.
Last night, during our Maundy Thursday service, my right foot was kissed as part of the foot-washing re-enactment – there must have been something else going on.
Robb just tagged me in a conversation about David Cameron’s recent Easter message in Premier’s Christianity magazine, with links to some further discussion of the article – along with a pointed mention of the word ‘nice’.
Which opened the vein that usually channels my inner Steve Turner:
Easter is a blessed relief,
a shot in the arm,
a dose of salts.
New life, early in the morning.
In these ways,
it is like a liturgical shot of espresso
after 40 days of instant decaf.
Maybe cause for celebration
– once things have settled down
and the strangeness is beginning to become the new normal.
But nothing without nails
It’s just another way of getting out of bed.