Well its been and gone and we now live in the joy of resurrection life. I'm going to list the programme for the Tridium ( the events from Maundy Thursday through to Easter Sunday)not because what I was involved in was anymore special that all those others who worked and worshipped this weekend, nor for pity, but as an indication for anyone considering ministry as to what the most wonderful weekend of the year can look like!
Maundy Thursday- rehearsal of hymns, psalm setting etc 10.30 - 11.45 followed at noon with opening service for college. Lunch. 2.15pm rehearsal for Maundy Thursday evening service, 4.15pm rehearsal for Good Friday service. Dinner. 7pm in church to set up for 8pm Eucharist and foot washing service. Sacristan duties in this service to direct people and to help with the stripping of the altar etc which form part of the service
Good Friday - 6.30am in church for last hour of the vigil ( students had covered the whole night) 7.30am clear away the altar of repose and place the reserved sacrament in the safe. 8.30am breakfast. 9.15am Morning prayer. set up for BCP parish communion and assist at the communion. 11.30am lunch. 12 - in church to set up for Good friday liturgy. back to colleger at 1pm for the start of the procession and liturgy which moved from college down through the village to the church and finished at 3pm ( no duties in the service ). Clear up after service. back in church 5.25pm to set up for evening prayer. 5.454pm evening prayer.
Saturday in church at 10am for cleaning and preparation.
3.30pm in church for rehearsal of Easter morning. Stayed and set up as much as we could for the easter sunday service. 8pm easter vigil in college Easter Sunday up at 4am in church for 5am to complete arrangements. Service started at 5.45 and finished at 7.15am(My duties- lights to signal to the bell ringers when to start and stop ringing, directing people for communion) Set up for parish communion back to college for cooked breakfast at 8am. Back to church for 8.45 to light candles etc for Parish communion (duties serve chalice). Home at 11.15 after clearing away for the service and to bed for an hour. lunch and then in church at 3pm to set up for baptism and communion at 4pm(Welcome and directing people). Clear away everytthing lock church and home by 5.45pm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I loved the experience being so fully part of it all. I found that when I was sure of what I was doing I was able to relax and worship despite all that was going on. Living through the tridium in such intensity brought home to me the full message of Easter- both the death and resurrection. God blessed me through it all and I wasn't too shattered by the end of it- though glad of a lie in yesterday morning.
In fact compared to many of the blogs I've read of priests and ministers I seem to get off lightly yesterday. We went off shopping for new black sunday shoes for me to go under my cassock!and then had a lovely wander along the canal. Now its back into college and daily offices which keep me rooted in God and his love.