Maundy Thursday and it all kicks off

We’ve had a good turn-out for our candlelit Complines but so many people have told me they are away for Easter that I fear the rest of Holy Week will be sparse in numbers. But it is not all about numbers, right?

Today I shall be renewing my ordination vows at the Cathedral and catching up with clergy that we never see from one year to the next. Then I shall decorate the Altar of Repose with white flowers and many candles. My hope is that this will be the last year I do it as I am passing on my strict instructions to others who will take it on in future.  When +A takes services at St Mark’s he always spends a considerable time prior to the service in prayer and I look with envy. Why am I always rushing around seeing to things at the last minute?

Tonight we shall share a meal, have feet washed, listen to the choir, strip the altars and then journey to the Garden of Gethsemane. There we shall stay and watch and pray. You can come too.

4 thoughts on “Maundy Thursday and it all kicks off

  1. On a small note of comfort to those who are always rushing about before a service, we once had a priest who liked to spend time before a service in silent prayer and contemplation, and in consequence got a reputation of being aloof and grumpy. To be fair the grumpy bit was not altogether undeserved based on other aspects of his behaviour, but I always felt very sorry for him when our then churchwarden tried to engage him in conversation during his silent time.

  2. Oh Ruth, I’m glad I’m not the only one.

    I went in at 7.45 for a 9pm service so that I could pray before hand (it’s the sort of congregation that arrives mostly at 8.55). But — I needed to maximize chairs/pews round the garden of repose (I’m sure I didn’t have to do this last year), clear out the ever growing jumble sale that has collected at the back of the church in the name of fund-raising, try to hide the coffee things as best as possible, rearrange the sacristy for the stripping… It was 8.37 before I briefly sat down to pray.

    Still — there is plenty of time to make up for it today.

  3. Our priests don’t have to do any of those things although there’s a retired one we occasionally let do a flower arrangement, and we sometimes leave the communion silver and linen on the credence table for them to arrange on the altar.

  4. Lissa, I have been assured that I shall not have to do it again. Two little poppets have volunteered to do it next year. Bless them!

    Kimberley, I always think the Ordinal should mention the fact that we are ordained to be janitors too.

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