Thursday, April 05, 2007

Holy Thursday

Today began with Star's dance exam, followed by a walk to the park for lunch and a play on the swings, an hour wandering round the shops, a visit to the doctor to be officially diagnosed with tennis elbow and given a prescription for anti-inflammatories, and a walk home - uphill! - with a very tired, very grumpy Star. Then dinner and a dash out to the evening Mass.

But after all the rushing around came the familiar dramatic liturgy of Holy Thursday - the return of the Gloria, the readings, the psalm, the washing of the feet, the stripping of the altar ... leaving the Church silent and stark, with statues hidden under purple and the Tabernacle bare and empty. Impossible not to be drawn into the atmosphere of the Easter Triduum. Tonight set the scene for tomorrow's remembrance of the Crucifixion, always emotionally draining, but also tinged with anticipation of the celebration of the Resurrection on Saturday night. As each layer of the Triduum unfolds it draws us "higher up and further in" to the great mystery at its heart ... that God became man, died on a cross for the sake of each one of us, and defeated death itself.

How grateful I am, both for that mystery, and for liturgy that allows even a tired, fuzz-brained mother, whose spiritual preparation has been sketchy to say the least, to experience at least a glimpse of it.

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