I invite you to share five favorite Holy Week things, five things that are truly worshipful for you. It may be that it's the way they are done in your congregation (or were done in a previous one). It may be your personal preparation for certain services or observances. Breathe. Be still. Look to the week ahead, and Holy Weeks past, and imagine the worship. Bonus: a piece of music that "is" Holy Week for you.In semi-random order:
1. I'll be doing *my* best to do the Triduum with grace… I still have wonderful memories of chanting the Exultet at the Easter Vigil and of kindling the new fire. Did I say Easter Vigil? That's the highlight of the year, with the weekly blessing of the baptismal water during the Great Fifty Days a close second. Since I'm not currently serving a church in any capacity and in many ways I've been free floating without a true parish, a geographical space and place, I'll be at Church up the Hill from Here for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, at Multicultural Church not Far from Here for Easter Vigil. Easter Sunday morning I'll be guest organist for a town and gown LC-MS congregation—they have a regular organist who's not on staff because he didn't want to have to be there Christmas and Easter, so I get to play.
2. I love praying and meditating on the stations of the cross, something I'd done only a couple times prior to returning to Current City, where it's been almost a given at a couple of the ELCAs and at the PCUSA where I was active.
3. Another wonderful memory: during the 3 years SM was long-term called interim (at the PCUSA where I was quite involved), he and I planned and led daily noon Eucharist during Holy Week. Hearing and feeling those familiar texts and experiencing liturgy five days in a row was amazing and memorable. And, of course, we also did the usual Maundy Thursday and Good Friday evenings.
4. I've always loved Maundy Thursday, the lively demonstration of the New Covenant we'd most recently heard about on Judica, Lent 5. Also, as associate pastor, I generally got to preach on Maundy Thursday…
5. I always appreciate the quiet, emotionally low feeling of Saturday morning through evening. Trying to be silent, do a little literal housework and housekeeping, anticipating Saturday evening's Vigil of Easter.
bonus. The final stanza of Lutheran Book of Worship 325 is the closing chorale from J.S. Bach's St John Passion, BWV 245. Catherine Winkworth's translation on cyberhymnal.
Interlinear Deutsche / English:
Ach Herr, lass dein lieb Engelein // Ah Lord, let your dear angels
Am letzten End die Seele mein // at my final hour carry my soul
In Abrahams Schoß tragen, // to Abraham’s bosom,
Den Leib in seim Schlafkämmerlein // while my body in its narrow chamber
Gar sanft ohn eigne Qual und Pein // gently without pain or torment
Ruhn bis am jüngsten Tage! // rests until the last day.
Alsdenn vom Tod erwecke mich, // Wake me then from death,
Dass meine Augen sehen dich // so that my eyes see you
In aller Freud, o Gottes Sohn, //in all joy, o God’s son,
Mein Heiland und Genadenthron! // my saviour and throne of mercy
Herr Jesu Christ, erhöre mich, //Lord Jesus Christ, hear me,
Ich will dich preisen ewiglich! // I shall praise you eternally!