Passiontide

Blogging has cooled down somewhat, as for most Christian bloggers. We have our lives of liturgy and personal prayer. There is also a lot of work to prepare for our distinguished visitor next week with his passion for dinghy cruising.

I seem to have the right routine for Holy Week. Everything will be done in the usual simplicity. Sarum Maundy Thursday is a Passiontide Mass, and only a bishop sings the Gloria because it is the Chrism Mass. I make only one concession – using bright red vestments. Good Friday will see the Easter Sepulchre being set up for the third host of Maundy Thursday and the crucifix that has been venerated on that day. The “gloomy” time will be short, because the Easter Vigil will be on Saturday morning because of the AGM of the sailing club in the evening and Roger’s talk. Already on Good Friday night, the chapel will be going into Easter mood with the veils removed and the Paschal Candle in place. The fire, which will burn in full daylight, will be in a cast iron pot and will be lit with a blowlamp (blowlampus liturgicus).

Translating work has also piled up and has to be done if I want to be paid for it at the end of April.

The boat is being gradually prepared for the Semaine du Golfe. I will be living aboard for nearly a week from 10th to 16th May, beaching or mooring twice a day, at lunch time and for the night. I have just bought an ultra-compact self-inflating mattress and I still need a cheap child’s rubber dinghy to use as a tender to get ashore and back to the anchored boat. There will be so many boats that mooring to a pontoon or drying out on the beach might be difficult.

I always find Holy Week a hard time. We feel the anguish of Christ’s Passion and death, the tensions between the disciples of Christ and the perverse spirits working for his downfall between the establishment of the Temple and the occupying Romans. The biggest mystery is Judas, and the most painful. Those days are long and laborious, quite apart from all the practical things to do in the chapel. Often, tempers fray easily, and this was especially the case in seminary, often provoked by some dispute over a liturgical detail.

I use Sarum, so there are no 1950’s reforms or bits and pieces here and there. Many things have to be omitted like the Maundy, the reconciliation of penitents cast out of church on Ash Wednesday (we have none here) and the baptismal water on Holy Saturday. I do the best I can.

Let us pray for each other from our respective places of worship and our homes. The light will be that much brighter for the dark tunnel and our compassion with Christ’s sufferings.

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One Response to Passiontide

  1. Martin Hartley says:

    Fr Chadwick, best wishes for this sacred season. I trust you will find the various days liturgies of great spiritual upliftment.

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