Friday, April 14, 2017

Were You There?

Friday's day time devotions on Good Friday were filled with sadness, wonder and amazement. Sad because of what happened so long ago at the crucifixion of Jesus. Wonder at how Jesus became man and died for our sins. Amazement that centuries after it all happened, it is still celebrated by many religions, especially those of the Catholic faith.

Spirit of Christ Catholic Community devotes three hours of prayer to help the community become involved in the death of Christ. The noon service is entitled, Objects of the Cross.

An area is bare and when readers begin the story and each item is mentioned, a man walks across the floor caring the item above his head. The first item was the purple cloth of royalty that was placed on Jesus as he was condemned to die. A slow, haunting melody is played on the piano as a man holds the cloth over his head, walks across the length of the church and places the cloth on a wooden box. Two men bring the large crucifix and place it near the purple cloth.  In the same way the man brings up a crown of thorns, a wooden mallet, large nails, a container of vinegar, a spear, and a sign that Jesus is the King of the Jews. All the items are placed below the crucifix to remind us of the day when Jesus died for our sins.

Reflections of the men and women who were present at Calvary were dramatically performed and their comments helped the congregation to understand more fully what was happening on that sad day when Jesus was crucified. I missed the Seven Last Words of Christ and at 3:00 p.m. I attended the Taize Prayer Service. A Deacon read what was occurring so long ago and then a guitar, clarinet, and violin played a sad tune while three women sang a sort of chant after the Deacon read part of the Passion.

Stay with me,
remain here with me,
watch and pray,
watch an pray.

All you who pass this way,
Look and see,
Look and see.

Jesus, remember me
when you come into your kingdom.
 Jesus remember me
when you come into your kingdom.

After each verse there was complete silence for about ten minutes as we meditated on what had been read by the Deacon.

At 7 p.m. would be the Good Friday Solemn Mass and the Veneration of the Cross which I am sure would be full of symbolism, sadness and beauty. I did not attend this part of Good Friday, yet I am glad I was able to be at the afternoon services. One more day and Easter Vigil will take place and the music will go from haunting, sad, and melancholy to joyous, uplifting and happy.

Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?

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