The Quixotic Pastor

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Holy Thursday Mood Music

Right at this moment, I am previewing some music for tonight's Holy Thursday Worship for South Church.

I want a CD to be playing while whoever shows up for the service [snowy and icy here -last night driving home was a nightmare] strips the sanctuary of its holy objects ... I've never done this as a part of worship before. I hope it works ...

I am hoping we all get the connection between stripping the sanctuary and the stripping of humanity/divinity from Christ in the brutality of his arrest, detainment, torture and crucifixion. The conclusion is the extinguishing of the Presence candle in a loud and violent manner, and the sanctuary doors being chained and locked behind them when everyone has filed out into the foyer ... [They won't stay that way, mind you ... but I will probably wait until everyone else has left before I unlock the doors, if I can.]

So what am I looking at for "mood music?" I have a CD with 8 different versions of Barber's Adagio For Strings ... and one of them features the Trinity College Cambridge Choir singing "Agnus Dei" to the Adagio. Its somber mood and the added lamb of God imagery seems perfect for the service.

Unfortunately, the Adagio also captures my mood today all too well. I am sick unto death of winter, and here it is, back again, when my body's longing for warmer temperatures and sunlight is almost physically painful. My spirit longs to burst forth from tomb-like winter into spring resurrection, but ... ... ... It. Is. Not. Quite. Yet. Time.

Not quite yet time ...

It was quiet around the tomb that long Friday night, that forever Saturday when Jesus' disciples listlessly drudged through their Sabbath.

The women thought with longing of their unfinished task of caring for their beloved Rabbi's body ... the rush of getting him down from the cross and into a tomb before the soldiers got anxious and forced them to toss Jesus' body on the Gehenna burn pile along with so many others tortured and crucified ... the not quite proper job of cleansing and wrapping him in the little time allotted them before sundown. The hustling of the body into its final resting place ... the shame of the soldiers threatening them if they did not leave the tomb to the unloving ministrations of its guardians, determined there would be no surprises, no stealing of bodies for Empire- damaging claims of immortality.

Most of the men sat around, burning with the unrelenting shame of their denials and lies, their hiding ... fleeing. Cowardice. Betrayal ...

John watched Mary carefully, his heart breaking with despair that he could never be the son his newly-made Mother truly wanted.

The long Sabbath was over at sundown Saturday, but the tense waiting was not.

The women thought, "Too dark to tend his body now. And what might those soldiers do?"

The men thought, "I betrayed him! I betrayed him ... and there is nothing I can do. About it. About him. Nothing I can do ... not now. Not ever. For the rest of my life I will live this shame and sorrow."

Mary, aware that John had been watching her, in her turn watched him as well. Her grief sat in her chest like a stone, a tombstone, but yet there were all those things Jesus had said. All of those healings, even a dead girl. And Lazarus.

Mary watched John watching her and silently pondered all of these things in her heart, not for the first time ... and wondered that she could not shake this foolish feeling, this incredible idea, that things were not yet finished, that there was yet more to come.


  • At 1:51 PM , Blogger mompriest said...

    The worship service you have planned for tonight seems to be quite powerful...I hope it is even more so when experienced. Let us know how it goes...

    Weather wise, I am a bit west of you...the weather yesterday was dreadful, but today is cold yet, depending on the wind, it's coming your way???

    I can almost take the cold better when the sun is shining. Although I guess I hope it is cloudy tomorrow, Good Friday should always be a cloudy day, I think...

  • At 10:58 AM , Blogger Singing Owl said...

    Agreed. It is beautiful and sunny here though cold. Seems wrong.
    DQ, hope the Maundy Thursday service was beautiful. Ours was lovely, sad, intimate...but poorly attended.

  • At 1:54 PM , Blogger Reverend Dona Quixote said...

    Mine too, Singing Owl, mine too. Only 11 folk out of a possible 50 or so.

    I think the service DID work for those who were present however, Mompriest. Their eyes widened when I slammed the presence candle down on the altar and it went out.


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