Thursday, April 05, 2007

Lent Blog: Maundy Thursday

Just about the most important day of the Church calendar for me. I think I have been to most Maundy Thursday services I could have for the last 29 years. Started with the joint service between the C of E CHurch where I grew up and the Methodist Church where I went to Youth Club. The only time 'we' went to 'them'. (I often went to 'them'!)

Tonight we gathered in Church, drapes down from the balcony, creating a smaller space, atmospheric lighting, and drapes illustrated with shadowy figures to echo the theme of our Holy Week - the shadowy figures of Mark's account of the trial and crucifixion. We considered Simon of Cyrene - a bystander who became a participant and reflected on that story's meaning for us. Excellent


Matthew McMurray said...

Maundy Thursday was quite powerful at the Priory. I don't think I have ever before made it the Maunday Thursday service. It was a bug Eucharist with all the clergy linked to the Priory concelebrating (6 in all I think).

There was then the procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the Altar of Repose followed by the stripping of the altars as the choir sang Psalm 22. It was a very moving service; I was moved to tears.

We then kept a watch until Midnight. I didn't manage the whole time but I did about an hour and a half. It is funny how stting in silence on that occasion could be so moving. The most moving however was when Fr. Peter read the final passage at midnight (about the betrayal) and then snuffed all the candles one by one.

The thing that struck me most was leaving the church at midnight with all the pubs booming and people laughing and shouting. Somehow "is it nothing to you..." seemed very real.

matthew mcmurray said...

corrections and typos:

paragraph 1:
...made it to the Maundy...
...big (not bug) Eucharist...

paragraph 3:
...sitting in silence

I am getting counselling about my pedantry.

Emma said...

"I am getting couselling about my pedantry."

Glad to hear it.

Mike Peatman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Peatman said...

I don't know. Bug eucharist sounds a good phrase for concelebration - you know, a crowd gathering round a central focus.

Not a fan myself. I subscribe to the liturgical thinking that the people all concelebrate, the priest/bishop presides, etc etc.

Glad to hear the traditional format worked for you, though.

Hi Emma. Sorry my daughter missed your appointment with MSN

Matthew McMurray said...

We have had that conversation many times! hehe

Anyway, I quite like your analogy as long as the metaphor ends before description of the central focus!