My week has been full of images, words, light, dark, silence, contemplation and joy. A week of focussing on Christ with like minded friends. My week started on Monday and to be honest I did not have a clue what to expect – and the words ‘Holy Week’ had no inner meaning to me other than the facts stated in the Bible.
Monday’s Stations of the Cross was not a good start for me. The reason? I was focussing on me instead of Christ. Walking around the church and standing at each Station was hard for me with my back and I had to sit down quite a bit. I was totally embroiled with my embarrassment of having to sit down instead of focusing on what I should have – Christ’s journey towards Crucifixion. It was all about ‘me’ instead of being all about ‘Him’.
This ‘all about me’ sentiment stayed with me until Thursday’s Midnight Vigil and the Altar of Repose. Something then changed inside of me. As I sat in silence I was totally immersed in the vision of the Altar of Repose – the beauty, the sadness, the dark, the light, the stillness, the movement... The ‘facts’ then changed to ‘feelings.’ Holy Week and the Crucifixion truly entered my heart.
On Friday the Church had a different atmosphere. One of emptiness – I think due to the lack of Cross, Altar and Altar dressings. The afternoon started with a repeat of the Stations of the Cross. This time is was not about me but entirely about Jesus Christ. Yes I had to sit – but what does that matter. The important thing was that I was there. This time I was able to truly focus on Christ’s journey.
Then we come to Easter Sunday – oh what joy – He is Risen! An early 6am start with bonfire and lighting of the Paschal Candle. Some very interesting images produced by the flames of the bonfire.. I did not notice this until I examined the photos afterwards. Maybe significant, maybe not, but still awesome! Then there was the point in the service that it was proclaimed that Christ is Risen – and sunlight streamed into the Church! My mood changed from sadness, silence and contemplation to one of joyous celebration. That joy has stayed ever since!
What a truly amazing Holy Week - so many emotions - so much sharing. This has truly changed my Christian life. I entered Holy Week with Jesus living in books and stories. I ended Holy Week with Jesus living in my heart and a feeling of deep joy. It feels wonderful! Thank you to Fr. Simon for enabling this, and to all my friends for sharing this week with me.