A Passion for Holy Week
This week is Holy. Holy Week. Holy Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Maundy Thursday followed by Good Friday. Saturday – does it have a moniker? I’ve taken to calling it Silent Saturday, but perhaps that's stolen. Holy Week. Leading up to Easter Sunday, when “Christ is Risen!” “He is Risen Indeed!”
In some ways it is my first Holy Week. Certainly it is the first time I have attended a church that celebrates Holy Week in the fashion of the historical church. Two years ago I would have looked askew at the term “Maundy Thursday” whereas this week I am thrilled to be hosting a Maundy Thursday “Feast” for family and friends. The few moments I’ve had this week for honest reflection and mindful introspection (very few mind you – which has earned a mention, but patience, not yet) led me to consider the Easter Sunday’s of my life, and the one I am yearning for following a few short revolutions in our orbit about the sun.
Growing up, Easter was a special Sunday. Foggy from a night of sleep interrupted by uncomfortable hair curlers, the day often started prior to sunrise. New clothes rustled and brushed against skin slightly chilled in the pre-dawn air. After singing the Savior’s praise to greet the sun, it was home to Easter baskets, light breakfast, and admonitions not to lie down and crinkle clothes or hair. Church service followed and we rejoiced in our salvation while simultaneously preaching eternal damnation, providing the “Easter-only” crowd their one shot at conversion. As a young “convert” (with a statement of faith and subsequent emersion at age five), Easter was always celebratory.
This year Easter remains celebratory, with the added emphasis of anticipation, particularly in every day this week. Our morning worship times have focused on the story; triumphal entry to Last Supper, cross to tomb, risen Christ to our redemption. Other than that focus and plans to attend special services at our church, this Holy Week is quite ordinary – with few moments to ponder and wonder at the amazing event set to unfold from Friday to Sunday. Our infant needs to nurse, our son’s runny nose wiped clean, dinner prepared, and laundry done – a Holy Week notable for its conventionality. For it is in everyday actions that I proclaim death and resurrection; setting aside self for another and pronouncing life to the relationships and needs around me.
Easter Sunday crowns Holy Week, fulfilling it until the next year. My actions and responsibilities will not change, for the gospel is not contained in one week but expands from that week into all others. Which is why Holy Week holds such joy. Holy Week is when heaven reaches down and envelops us, reigniting our passion through His Passion for another year to come. May we embrace our Savior, our salvation, and this week set aside in celebration.This week is Holy. Holy Week.