Wednesday, March 31, 2010
It's okay to FEEL and EXPERIENCE . . .
The conclusion of the Holy (Maundy) Thursday Mass, as the altar is stripped and the eerie music is played in the background while Psalm 22 is being reverently read (or chanted, in some places) cannot help but evoke emotion. The symbolism is powerful and moving - it gets me every time! And Good Friday, both the Chief Service (at Noon, here) and Tenebrae (in the evening, here), with the seven words of Christ, the procession of the Sacred Cross, the Reproaches, the reading of St. John's Passion account to the gradual darkening of the church, and the Strepitus (loud sound), at which the church goes completely dark, cannot help but evoke emotion. Powerful symbolism - it, too, gets me every time! And then comes the joy of the Easter Vigil and the Festival of our Lord's Resurrection, with the beautiful decor, the smell of the lilies, the organ and the choir belting out the beautiful and celebratory Easter hymns - the church lets her hair down and celebrates like at no other time during the year - yeah, that gets me every time, too!
There are times in the days ahead to feel and experience the almost unbelievable beauty and awesome depth of all that our Lord did to save us wretched sinners and open to us the way to everlasting life. From somber and meditative to joyous and celebratory - embrace it all, my friends. Oh yes, it's okay to feel and experience the emotional lows and highs of these Sacred Days. I pray that you will!