As posted by reverendmother at RevGalBlogPals:
Well, the Clergy Superbowl is almost upon us, and so, I offer up this Friday Five (with apologies for the irreverent title):
1. Will this Sunday be Palms only, Passion only, or hyphenated?
We will be observing both.
2. Maundy Thursday Footwashing: Discuss.
I’ve never seen it done.
3. Share a particularly meaningful Good Friday worship experience.
For the past few years I’ve held a very simple service at noon on Good Friday at which we read the long gospel lesson from John, as well as the conversation with the thieves from Luke, interspersed with prayer and (most years) a few Taize chants. It feels good to observe the day, which has been a particularly sad one in my past, more than one year and for more than one reason.
Last year I made some adaptations, using visual and tactile materials that had been part of our Lenten worship center. Although the group was small, it was powerful to pray while holding stones that had been in the church for six weeks, then to leave them on the altar beneath the rough wooden cross used at Small Church during the Lenten season. Rather than singing we listened to some recorded music, including Johnny Cash singing "Wayfaring Stranger." (It really worked.)
4. Easter Sunrise Services–choose one:
a) "Resurrection tradition par excellence!"
b) "Eh. As long as it’s sunrise with coffee, I can live with it."
c) "[Yawn] Can’t Jesus stay in the tomb just five more minutes, Mom?!?"
A. See below.
5. Complete this sentence: It just isn’t Easter without…
For me, the Sunrise Service has been the answer to #5, but this year we
will not have one to attend, as Main Street Church doesn’t do one and
my first service there is too early to allow enough time to attend one
held by another church. I’ll miss it.
Bonus: Any Easter Vigil aficionados out there? Please share.
Large Church had an Easter Vigil service for a few years, and I loved it, but I think it’s a little "high" for most UCC folk. And it requires a certain critical mass to be thoroughly impressive. My favorite part of that service was the beginning. The congregation and choir gathered in the church’s cloister, lit the Easter fire, then processed, choir first, into the sanctuary. We sang a gorgeous setting for "Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty"–a capella, on a ground–and continued singing it until everyone had been seated. Considering we had to go through two doorways and around a corner, it was musically challenging to stay tuned and together, and that added to the feeling that we were doing something very, very special. Loved, loved, loved it.