It's Easter, of course, the most important festival in our Church's year. We've had the Thursday service, which ended in silence and a stripping of the altar of all its cloths, candles, books and all, leaving the tabernacle empty and the Body of Christ moved to the 'altar of repose' out the back in the meeting room. We switched off the tabernacle light (the little red one that says there is the body of Christ present in the tabernacle) - I had to show the new priest where the light switch was. He's doing okay, and he knows I am pretty unhappy with him, but we've had a few chats about stuff the last couple of days, because we had to. He came out of the sacristy with a crown of thorns last night after the service, and asked me what we used it for. I said, with a straight face, that it was our custom for him to wear it on Good Friday... he knew I was pulling his leg *g* - we really used it as a symbol in the prayers today.
Let me tell you about our liturgy on Thursday. We had it in the gym (our hall) and I drew a big cross on the floor near the middle with chalk. Then I wrote the response in chalk all round the centre circle and one of the girls drew a bigger circle to make a centrepiece. I put a purple cloth on the floor with a big purple bowl - I put three purple candles in it surrounded by white stones. And we had our small Mercy cross sitting there. The girls sat in concentric circles round the centre, in half light. The senior girls read prayers (about healing, healing professionals etc), interspersed with some great dramas about healing (well, things that needed healing) and we had one girl be the Jesus figure. The others shoved her into the centre of the circle, shouting 'crucify him' and mocking him - it was really effective with voices coming from all round the circle by my senior girls. She fell to the floor, and after the next prayers, the readers came in and laid her on the chalk cross, acting out nailing her to the cross. Then after the next prayers, the actors lifted her up into a standing, crucified position and fell down at her feet. It was really effective. We had a song in the middle, and then I told the girls to look around - had anyone hurt anyone, or been hurt? After a pause I suggested that if anyone wanted a healing blessing, or forgiveness, that we had pairs of girls, and two teachers, stationed around the outside of the last circle, with hands to heal and water to cleanse, and it was up to them if they wanted to go.
Well, heaps of girls got up and lined up before the 'healers'. It was wonderful as we thought maybe only a very few would stand up. I'd say three quarters of the school got up. Amazing, huh.
The healers had been briefed, with words to say as one put a hand on the girl's shoulder, then the other would bless her with the water (I got little ceramic bowls from the Chinese food shop down the road for $1 each!) by making a sign of the cross on her forehead. It was actually really moving. I played some music that worked well too, once our musicians had played the song again, and wow, it was good.
As for other news, well, I have a lot of school work to do but it's Easter break so I should get some done along the way. We had a great walk around Seatoun this morning with people from three Christian churches doing a 'way of the cross' walk, down from our church to the beach, then to the other two churches in the area. It was nice. Christy is away at Easter camp with the Presbyterians, so I just took the boys. They didn't mind it. They just walked with their friends.
I'll stop now. Enough from me, huh. And thanks, my friends, for your kindness the last couple of days. I appreciate you stopping to help me along. I'm getting there.