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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Seasons of the soul: A peak experience: the three days of Easter

As I write late on the afternoon of Maundy Thursday, it is with the anticipation of embarking on keeping alive the remembrance at the pinnacle of the Christian faith within the cycle of the liturgical year - the Easter Triduum.

The Easter Triduum refers to the three days from the evening of Thursday through to Sunday evening. It also refers to the three major events around which the community of faith gathers: the commemoration of The Last Supper on Maundy Thursday; the commemoration of the suffering and death of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on Good Friday; and the celebration of His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Holy Saturday, the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, is a day of quiet and mourning remembering that this was the time that Jesus lay in the grave.

I was thinking to-day that I have kept these traditions for sixty years. Sometimes the Triduum has not been kept in its entirety when health matters have intervened. This has happened a lot over the last decade. But health has improved and I am looking forward to full participation this year.

To-night will be the washing of feet. Last year, this was done with towels and soap and bowls from our local public hospital where St Thom's has a huge and long involvement in chaplaincy and pastoral care. Great symbolism! To-morrow, we go ecumenical joining with the Catholic and Uniting Church in procession and ceremony. Sunday, St Thom's starts at 6.10am with the sun and kindling the new fire followed by breakfast followed by the great rejoicing as the purple disappears and the Gloria that hasn't been heard for six weeks rings out. "He is risen!" is the greeting of the day with the response of "He is risen indeed!". Miss E will be following this with a trip into the Hills to the tiny Quaker Meeting for Worship at Menzies Creek.

When you can do nothing else: bear witness