In the midst of the Triduum

I’m stopping for just a brief moment in the midst of The Triduum to reflect on what has happened so far, and to look forward to what is to come.

Yesterday, after Morning Prayer, I drove through to Edinburgh to our Cathedral to preach at the Chrism Mass. An ominous task and not one I was particularly looking forward to – well, who wants to preach to their peers? But it was lovely to see some of my little flock there to support me. It is a service I love, although I have been known to moan a bit about it in the past. For years it seemed as if we had the same hymns and same Britten mass setting but things have improved (although not the temperature!) and yesterday’s was delicious. I think I remembered to move to the right place at the right time. (And whoever pinched my jar of Healing Oil, could they please return it? It does have ‘Christ Church Falkirk’ in large letters on the side.)

Then a quick bite with the clergy and some very kind words, before joining my little flock in Browns for a yummy lunch. Then straight back to the ranch and into church to create the Garden of Repose – a job I love doing but must learn to delegate as it is so time consuming. I literally finished it just as the server arrived for a quick run-through of the big service.

We do ecumenical here in Falkirk in HOly Week. Each night a different minister comes to Christ Church and does their thing. Mine was last night. And we did it! We did footwashing, and stripping, and prostrating, and watching and waiting. Some of this was new to my little flock, and to our 100+ visitors so not everyone came into the Garden. Next year we might do things differently. But you learn from your mistakes. The geography of a building really dictates liturgy, doesn’t it? Next year the garden may be up on the … oh well, you’ll have to wait and see. One devoted soul did wait and watch for some time and it was gorgeous to sit in the dark with the candles still and bright around Our Lord. Then He was consumed and the garden stripped all ready for today. At that point every bone in my body was screaming that it wanted to rest and I remembered how physical Holy Week is.

Today we shall walk the Stations of the Cross at 12 noon and then there will be 2 hours of devotions on the Sounds of the Passion with music and silence. And tonight Glendon Macaulay will lead us in more Meditations. Glendon is CofS and has asked for incense and anointing oil so that will be something different for some.

Tomorrow I hope some of my little flock will come to help decorate the church – my first attempt at an Easter Garden on my own so all help is welcome. I have found that the liner for a hanging basket will make a nice tomb, I think.

Then the Vigil will tell the stories at night. More of that later…

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7 thoughts on “In the midst of the Triduum

  1. Exhausting but so it should be, I think, Ruth. So glad the Chrism Mass went well. Trying new things is always risky, but people will take from them what they need and some will be unexpectedly touched and moved.

  2. The tomb at Holy Trinity Dunoon is made from the mould for a small pot or large mug, ( did it come from Dunoon ceramics, or is it too old?) covered in pebbles set into cement. It’s been there all the time I have ( 37 years) and it is too small for the figures around it, but we work with moss and large stones/small rocks to establish some sense of perspective…
    Oh dear. I think it’s time Di and I handed over this task to some children !

  3. Chris, you and Di make the most beautiful altars of repose and Easter Gardens I’ve seen. If you delegate it, I do hope you find away to pass on the flair with aesthetic.

    (the same goes for pink-berried, mutli-pined advent wreaths too, of course)

  4. The tradition for Easter Gardens in the West country 30 years ago is the one I used – you build the garden basics some time between Palm Sunday and Maundy Thursday – that is, moss, tomb etc. (If you have children, you can explain where it was, just outside the city, etc. Martin Biddle ‘The Tomb of Christ I find terribly helpful) On Good Friday you add the three crosses. On Holy Saturday you decorate, using small flowers, perhaps adding paths and whatever beautifies. And the first in the church on Easter Sunday rolls away the stone. It spreads the work and gives a chance to tell the story slowly to the children.

  5. Sadly no children – yet! I’ve told them to procreate but they’re having none of it. And now I’ve been told I must delegate it so I’m going to let it go in favour of doing tomorrow’s pew sheet and sermon – and it will all be fine, I’m sure.

  6. A couple in HT have just brought forth – but she’s a bit wee for these shenanigans yet. But it’s our first in-house baby in many years, and a cause for much rejoicing. 🙂

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