My church's practice on Good Friday is a bit understated, to say the least. After communion and tenebrae the night before, people are invited to the sanctuary on Good Friday between noon and 3:00 to pray, meditate, reflect. I have an appreciation for this time, as there are no paraments, music plays, candles flicker on a bare altar. The atmosphere during this time is very irenic.
In years' past, the most that have come during this time is four. I suspect that, although the hours are what they are due to their symbolism, they still fall in the middle of one's workday and we no longer live in a culture where many businesses close on Good Friday.
Another reason probably has to do with the discomfort of simple silence with oneself. Okay, I'm in the sanctuary...now what do I do? For people unfamiliar with prayer disciplines, the thought of just stopping in for this is just weird.
One possibility to help with this would be to offer some sort of guided meditation, and down the road I might consider that. For this year, at least, I offered a brief communion meditation right at noon instead, borrowing some of the ideas from the other day as my guide for what I would say. Six people showed up for this alone, easily the most who have come during this time that I can remember. Others stopped in as some of these lingered, pretty well thwarting my plan to immediately clear away the communion elements. But hey, that's a good problem to have as far as I'm concerned.
Yesterday was also Coffeeson's birthday, and Coffeewife and I took some time to reflect together on where we were a year ago. Essentially, on the night of April 9th she was feeling extremely uncomfortable and decided to stay up a little while and watch TV, and I just went straight to sleep. Our emergency bag had been packed for at least a week, and it was about 3:00 in the morning when we grabbed it and went to the hospital. At around 6:00 that evening, Coffeeson appeared, naked, wet, cold, and crying. And here we are a year later with him crawling, toddling, babbling, and eating Cheerios. Today's the party, which will feature some good shots of him covered in birthday cake.
This Lent didn't shape up the way I thought it would. I never really got into a groove with any sort of discipline due to March's weird setup. But I did plenty of reflection here and there regarding life, family, and ministry; my call and direction in all of it. One could say that I actually had a very meaningful and productive Lent by accident, due in no small part to the Holy Spirit. I hesitate to share too much because not all of it is "blog appropriate," at least at the moment. But as time goes on, I'll be able to share more.
A blessed Holy Saturday, and a joy-filled Easter, be with you.