Holy Week

POETRY: Easter Vigil, by Jill Peláez Baumgaertner

From the church’s side door we follow the candle held aloft in the uncertain spring evening this dead time between death and birth, treading the pavement to the opened narthex door, the procession silent as dusk. Our tapers flare briefly as they steal flame, then settle into small, steady burns, each a puncture to the gathered darkness of the sanctuary. The human story—the rebellions, the redemptions—read in darkness, the light to some a present shimmer, to most a dim promise. And you, two brothers, sitting in the deepened shadows, not quite sure that this hushed service is really yours, knowing only that your time has almost come. When the congregation gathers at the font, you stand shifting your weight, ready now for drowning, [...]

POETRY: Six Holy Week Triolets — Saturday, by L. N. Allen

Saturday To set the mind on the flesh is death. Set the mind on the Spirit for life and peace. Note where the sun rises, not where it sets. To set the mind on the flesh is death. Pray to Abba for hope. Not for breath, but for mercy, forgiveness, release. To set the mind on the flesh is death. Set the mind on the Spirit for life and [...]

POETRY: Six Holy Week Triolets, by L. N. Allen

Friday Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow afterward, with prayers and sighs too deep for words. Where I am going, you cannot follow now, yet though a hundred pounds of myrrh and aloe are between us, I will not leave you orphaned. Where I am going, you cannot follow now. But you will follow [...]

POETRY: Thursday, by Hannah Faith Notess

Hands harvested the grapes, and feet crushed them in the winepress. Hands held the vessel under the dark stream till the vessel ran over, sealed up the wine and carried it down to the cellar. Hands shaped the water basin on the wheel, set it to dry. Hands worked the loom that wove the towel now folded under the basin. Fingers held the needle that, hemming the towel’s edge, drew a drop of blood. Hands kneaded the unleavened dough, worked in more flour, stoked the oven coals. Hands shaped the loaves and baked them, then set the bread to cool. Hands picked and washed the bitter herbs. Hands laid the table, lit the lamps. And when supper ends and hands raise up the cup, the men will remember (though nobody will say), the hands that drew [...]

POETRY: Six Holy Week Triolets, by L. N. Allen

Thursday “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” Each of the twelve cried, “Surely, not I?” “As it was for the fig tree, it will be for the spy— Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me— Take, eat, this is my body.” He broke the bread, he passed the wine. “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” Each of the twelve cried, “Surely, not [...]

POETRY: Six Holy Week Triolets, by L. N. Allen

Wednesday Walk while you have the light so the darkness may not overtake you. Believe in the light. Walk while you have the light. Become children of the light. For a little longer, the light is with you. Walk while you have the light so the darkness may not overtake [...]

POETRY: Six Holy Week Triolets, by L. N. Allen

Tuesday Unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies it remains just a single grain. Only the fallen and buried can rise. Unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies it cannot grow and multiply and it thirsts, although drowned in rain. Unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies it remains just a single [...]

POETRY: Six Holy Week Triolets, by L. N. Allen

Monday After he cursed the fig tree, it withered to its roots. Faith can throw mountains into the sea. After he cursed the fig tree he told his disciples Trust in me, pray, walk the path, preach the truth. After he cursed the fig tree it withered away to its [...]

MEDITATIONS: The Faith in Four Days, by Martin Thornton

From A Joyful Heart: Meditations for Lent There are many ways of observing Holy Week, ancient and modern, traditional and experimental, all concluding with the tremendous impact of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Day.  An obvious and exciting thing about these four days is their distinction in message and devotional emphasis.  What is frequently brought out less clearly is the essential interrelation between them; to live through these four days is to cover the calendar, virtually to live through the creed. Maundy Thursday is basically the day of the eucharistic celebration, which word has its particular theological relevance.  For significantly, the sacraments are administered; only the Eucharist, in normal [...]