happy holy week to you! every year i am so moved by the events of this week. it is, of course, the most holy week of the year culminating in the most joyful occasion for the church. i think we, in camden, do an especially wonderful job remembering and celebrating this. we begin on wednesday with a traditional seder dinner. the songs and prayers and food rituals begin to root us in the history of this week and remind us that we are adopted into the people of god. on holy thursday we continue the celebration of the seder with the adoration of the eucharist - remembering that jesus is the lamb of god, broken for us. on good friday we begin the day with the via crucis. each station is also a place in our neighborhood where someone has been killed. our spanish speaking brothers and sisters join together with us to remember those who have been killed, to sing songs, pray prayers and participate in the story of our jesus. in the afternoon of good friday we do mass together. our priest reads the passion story and lifts a purple shroud off of a massive cross upon which is hung a sculpture of jesus. as we sing about the cross of christ each person goes up and kisses the feet of jesus. i really appreciate the symbols and mystery of our liturgy. i know some are uncomfortable with these rituals but i don't know how i could really celebrate the resurrection without, in some way, experiencing the crucifixion. this mass is the most deeply moving for me and today father michael really preached it during the homily! he reminded us that in the death of jesus on the cross he most clearly showed the way of non-violence. in giving up one's life, not in domination and killing, is real love.
tomorrow is a quiet day spent in preparation of easter. on easter morning at 4:30am we go into the church where someone reads the creation story. we are then "cast out of the garden" and move down into the tomb (the pitch black church basement) where we read the exodus story and finally, about the resurrection. we go upstairs, into the light (about 7:30am), and process around the neighborhood singing alleluia and ringing bells.
amen and amen.