Easter Triduum

Where do I begin? Right now I feel like lying down in a dark cave and rolling the stone in front of it just for a while. But before I do, let me tell you briefly what we have been up to for the past three days…

On Good Friday the procession of the cross went along Portobello High Street stopping at St Philip’s (CofS), then us, and then St John’s (RC). I did a wee meditation to send them on their way.

It was amazing how many of my little flock just ‘popped in’ to church because it was open in the morning for a prayer. I wish we could have it open more often. Sigh.

Then at 12noon we walked the Stations of the Cross (with hymns in between) and then gathered for meditations and music led by Bishop Alan. It was a powerful three hours and very different from last year – which is a good thing. Then hot cross buns to break our fast (well for some of us anyway!) and off to ponder the darkness of it all.

On Holy Saturday we gathered at the cross in the garden in an icy bitter wind and said the morning Office.Draped Cross

Then it was all hands on deck for changing an empty church into a gloriously lilyfied offering worthy of a King.Lilies and stained glass

Even the photocopier toner running out did nothing to deter those scrubbers. I wept briefly, without wanting to make too much fuss, but that which was lost was found and the photocopier sprang back into life (remind you of something?!) and continued churning out service sheets by the dozen.

Our Easter Vigil was in darkness – so dark we couldn’t read the Collects – as we listened to the stories of redemption. Then out to the porch for fire and candles and I sang. Yes, I sang! (If you know me well, you will know this is a BIG thing!) Then we all sang the Exsultet and the church came alight with flames. A quick hop over to the font and after a bit of candle-plunging we renewed our baptismal vows, said our names aloud, and did some more Alleluias.

This morning some hardy souls arrived at the beach at 7am with a wonderful sun shining on the water.Easter on the Beach

It was freezing cold but we gathered round the fire and Alleluia-ed some more. Then back for bacon rolls before the first Easter Eucharist. I can see now that incense might have helped rid the church of the aroma of grilled bacon. Bishop Alan kindly took this service and I got to roll around in the pews soaking it in. More Alleluias were uttered.

Then the church quickly filled – to capacity and we had to send the overload upstairs to the balcony – and we began again with the business of proclaiming Christ is Risen Indeed. There were four baptisms, each one a poppet, and much hilarity. Even my Krusty the Clown jack-in-the-box went down reasonably well. (Visual aid for Jesus rising from the grave – you had to be there. My son tells me Krusty is not a particularly good role model and associates with prostitutes. I think that’s quite a good role model myself.)

By which point the adrenalin kicked in and we Alleluia-ed on until all had been fed and wined. All in all we had over 150 people in church today and I know its not all about numbers but for this little church that was pretty impressive.

So thank you one and all for making it a very special Easter indeed. You know who you are.

Good Friday

It is over, complete, accomplished.

We have walked the Stations of the Cross and sung the Passiontide hymns.

We have listened to the Seven Last Words and contemplated what they mean for us.

We have seen the nail driven in to the Cross.

We have eaten Hot Cross Buns together.

And tonight we have said Compline around the cross of candles as we held our cross of nails.

Draped Cross