“Life and Resurrection” by James McNutt
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness – 2 Peter 3:8-9
I have to start by expressing my gratitude for all the work and dedication that went into this year’s observance of Holy Week. After a particularly brutal season of Lent, I needed this cleansing breath of continual worship.
My Holy Week started with an errand that put me at the church just in time to participate in the Procession of the Palms, so I joined up with some friends I hadn’t seen in person in over a year and sang with childlike enthusiasm in making sweet hosannas ring. When Daniel, during the Eucharist that followed, called our attention to the dismissal noting that all of the services of Holy Week don’t end but are strung together in one continual, unending worship, I was enticed and decided to participate fully.
Each service held individual ideas that I expect to stay with me for years, hosanna as both jubilant and plaintive cry, the Roman procession from the West in opposition to the Christian procession from the East, the kindling of the fire that never dies away, the invitation to forgive ourselves presented by the socially distanced washing of our own feet, the total recall of the Eucharist, the invitation not to dismiss our own apocalypses but to see them as a reflection of the humanity of Christ, and likely the most stentorian Alleluias I have ever sung. But it was the uninterrupted continuation that was the most impactful.
While most years I see the death and resurrection in each service, particularly in the celebrating of the Eucharist, this year I saw that the entire week was one Eucharist, but what of the time outside of formal liturgy? This entire year, Daniel has been asking us to pay attention to our breath, and something about that clicked for me during Holy Week. In each and every exhale and inhale, I can live the death and resurrection. Be it a liturgical year, a lifetime, the span of a rectorship, a breath, a falling asleep and a waking up, a Eucharist, the beginnings which follow every ending, a Holy Week, if I choose to notice, there is life and resurrection.