Its been a blessed Triduum, thus far, with in excess of 120 at both the Mass of the Last Supper last night and the Good Friday liturgy this afternoon. Which for a small village church like ours is encouraging, a slight increase from last year. The choir, buoyed by extra voices, have been in magnificent form. The servers guided us through the liturgy with a skilled honed over years of service at the altar.
It almost moved me to tears watching the deep devotion with which the congregation venerated the holy cross this year, as the choir sang the reproaches. Some of the more frail and disabled strained every sinew to bend the knee though they were not, of course, compelled to. We have been praying at Mass for weeks that our Holy Week services might be grace filled occasions enabling an encounter with the Lord. Those prayers have, I believe, been answered.
Tomorrow, it being Holy Saturday, there will be a priest in the confessional from 9am until he is no longer needed. Meanwhile the church will be cleaned from top to bottom, the brass polished, fresh linen laid and the vestments got ready. Anyone willing to do some spring cleaning should turn up from 10am until noon. Bring some brasso if you have it! Meanwhile the children have the ‘Easter workshop’ at 10am and will be constructing the Easter Garden and making craft items. It is going to be a busy morning.
Before dawn on the third day, at 5am on Sunday morning, we shall complete the Triduum by celebrating the Easter Vigil; entering church in the darkness of night and leaving as the sun rises on a fresh day of resurrection! The service will be followed by bacon rolls, mugs of tea and, for the adventurous, bucks fizz! We shall hold a Sung Mass of Easter Morning at 1oam, also followed by bubbles and, it is rumoured, a chocolate egg or three.
You can keep the chocolate. I am gearing up that afternoon, with genuine excitement, for my first pint of real ale since Shrove Tuesday.