Things are pretty frantic in the vicarage. Having welcomed every child from two out of three schools in the parish to Experience Easter, and with funerals continuing to come in droves, time to prepare practically for Holy Week has been cut to the bone. I look set to be printing service sheets minutes before handing them to the congregation pretty much all week - there's not alot in the church cupboard that I'm happy to use untweaked, and one armed typing remains a challenge. So I really ought not to be blogging at all - but the Friday Five was so apposite I could not resist.
Sally over at the RevGal site says:
Holy Week is almost upon us, I suspect that ordained or not, other revgal/pals calendars look a bit like mine, FULL, FULL, FULL........
Jesus was great at teaching us to take time out, even in that last week, right up to Maundy Thursday he withdrew, John's gospel tells us he hid! He hid not because he was afraid, but because he knew that he needed physical, mental and spiritual strength to get through...
So faced with a busy week:
1. What restores you physically?
Sleep. Hot baths (oh I do wish I could hurl this plaster cast to oblivion - but I don't even see the Great Bone Man til Monday & nothing is certain even then). Walks with dogs & children.
Currently & unusually I'm not sleeping that well - which probably fuels the escalating panic which in turn prevents me sleeping....aaargh.
2. What strengthens you emotionally/ mentally?
Hugs from those I cherish. Reading words that have inspired me before (two saint Johns, Donne & the Evangelist are particularly effective, but there are many many others). Music - Bach is best, Mozart too (but please can someone help me dislodge the phrase from the Credo of the Weber Mass we are singing in choir that has been haunting my dreams since Monday?:I think I have it right now).
3. What encourages you spiritually? Doing my job - at the altar (though not at the desk)...in the community...that sense of being swept up into the ceaseless praise around the throne that so often comes during the Sanctus when I preside. My friends & soul mates & of course the Best Spir Dir ever. Music again - I think I need to put on the B Minor Mass urgently to restore some perspective.
4. Share a favourite poem or piece of music from the coming week.
So much of Holy Week has a sound-track for me dating from my time as a chorister at St John the Divine, Kennington. The Vittoria Passion; Lotti's Crucifixus; John of Portugal's Crux Fidelis...That's just not going to happen in an little church in the provinces...so I will be focussing on the Passion Chorale as we sing it around 3.00 on Friday.
5.There may be many services for you to attend/ lead over the next week, which one are you most looking forward to and why? If there aren't do you have a favourite day in Holy week if so which one is it?
In this first Holy Week here I'm too conscious of the responsibility for enabling the worship of others to dare to look forward yet. Some of the services that loom so large will be new to the parishes, in some we will have to find a route that honours their traditions but makes liturgical sense to me...It's going to be an intereseting week (specially if I dont get typing/copying very soon).
I'm also aware of a part of myself that is courting disappointment by wishing that the liturgy might be more finely-tuned and polished than it's likely to be. I realise that even if I hanker for it, the house style of St M's would not be authentic here, so I need to get over this fast! As I said, interesting...
But with all that going on, I am really looking forward to Stations of the Cross on Tuesday evening. I've a lovely set of posters from the sisters of Turvey Abbey, and just to try to follow Jesus, one step at a time, is surely all I need attempt - in Holy Week or ever.