I am no stranger to loss and grief; no stranger to death. From October 2017-December 2018, there were nine losses in my life…friends, colleagues, and family. Death is a part of life. However, I would prefer not to stay there. Death can be so overwhelming. In fact, we are at a time in our world when the death seems so incredibly overwhelming. I need Holy Week more this year than ever!
Yet I honestly had low expectations. Palm Sunday didn’t include kids singing and shouting hosanna as they waved palm branches. I knew that I wasn’t going to get to wash my parishioners feet. I knew that there would be no first communion. I knew that there would be no stripping of the altar. I felt so lost walking into Holy Week. Yet a few weeks ago, I was asked to be a part of this really cool thing called The Triduum Project. Creative souls coming together to hold vigil over three days.
Little did I know what a gift holding vigil would be in the midst of this peculiar and strange Holy Week. I love what Jason said on Twitter about holding vigil. His words really spoke to me as I debated whether to go to bed or stay awake until my hour. After reading them, I knew that I needed to stay awake. Jason wrote, “There’s something sacred about being up when you’re used to sleeping. It’s like you’re delineating with your body that this time is different. It’s set apart. Consecrated time, a concept that isn’t the worst thing for your self–Sabbath-deprived tradition to consider.”
I was awake when I am never awake. I found myself sitting and holding watch as we entered into the day Jesus was murdered for our sins. I got to see the sun set and the sun rise. I thought of all those working in the hospitals in the midst of the Co-Vid19.
After preaching Maundy Thursday worship, I came home and listened to Tyra and so many other musicians usher us from Maundy Thursday into Good Friday. Their music balm to my soul. In the wee hours of the morning, Jason made the passion story come alive in a way I will never forget. Joe and David talked honestly and allowed me to be vulnerable and cry the tears I needed to shed. There was also beautiful storytelling. There was bread baking.
This is all holy! An idea that came together over a few weeks has totally been blessed by God’s Spirit. A vigil that embodies the beauty of the body of Christ. Together we are caring for the body as we walk to the cross and stand tears streaming down our face. We are not alone. We see each other standing at the foot of the cross.
The Triduum Project is an incredible gift to the church in a time when we need to be together. We need to grieve together. We need to see each other’s stories. We need to hold vigil until the stone is rolled away. This, my friends, has been and continues to be holy space! There will be no other vigil that compares to this one.