Thursday, 9 April 2009

Marathon Evening

The whole shebang kicks off in earnest tonight. We get serious from Maundy Thursday on. I've devise a contemporary liturgy for Maundy Thursday, which begins with a Passover Supper. (Seder). We begin by eating sumptuously, using all the bits and bobs that belong in the Seder Meal, and including the questions and answers, and bringing in the bitter herbs, horseradish, nuts, and millions of other symbolic acts. We try to create what the Last Supper was like in the Upper Room. Lots of wine is drunk, and we tell each other stories of our lives and laugh with each other over the absurdities of daily life.

 The whole thing begins with clergy washing the hands of the people. After the Seder, at the back of the church, we move forward towards the altar where the Liturgy of the Last Supper takes place. I always have two Presbyterian ministers on each side of me at the altar.

Then the Solemn stripping of the Altar, the procession to the Altar of Repose, and a watch until midnight. Five hours of solid symbolism which seems to touch so many deeply.

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