Sunday, April 16, 2006
Easter Day. Christ has risen! And in a quiet afternoon moment, before returning to church for an ecumenical service which we are hosting, I can't help reflecting on this past week - surely the busiest Holy Week I've ever experienced.
It began last Saturday, with the all-day rehearsal for Stainer's Crucifixion, which we performed in the Cathedral of The Isles on Palm Sunday afternoon. When the rest of the choir went home, we stayed. During the next three days we sang Evensong each day, and because we don't do this all the time that meant daily rehearsals. We also attended Morning Prayer, a midday Eucharist and Compline. Wednesday's Evensong of course included the Tallis Lamentations - we rehearsed that for hours. It was great - but it was all-consuming.
Then home - to collect moss for Gethsemane, to make it into a garden on the Altar of Repose, to be present at the Last Supper and the watch which followed. To be there in church for the last hour, to return on the Saturday to prepare the church for Easter and to carry my candle in the Vigil of Saturday evening. And today - a joyful Easter Eucharist, incense, flowers, singing - and back this evening, not only to participate but also to rehearse and perform in a small group.
I suppose I'm wondering what it would be like to be passive, to receive all I wanted to from the week and not have to give anything. I suspect I'd feel strange - it seems my natural way of life to be one of the people who put the show on the road, so to speak. Being married to the organist and being someone who can sing, read or proclaim at the drop of a hat means people expect you to be there and doing. But I'm aware that all this activity means I read nothing for myself, I fall asleep the moment I relax, I have few serious thoughts that are not tied to some part of the drama in which I'm involved. And yet the experience of doing all these things is immense - and despite feeling I've landed in some obscure religious order who sing and make replicas of gardens from unlikely materials I wouldn't miss it for a moment.
Not much room for the still, small voice, eh?