The Stripping of the Altar was particularly brutal this year. Furniture dragged around, lots of noise and lots of unease. Many servers and clergy involved and a choir ready to pitch in and shift the altar and platform as well as their own stalls. The inadequate lighting which we currently have (to be fixed next week) simply added to what was happening.
I was struck when it was all going on that such a rabbling is in our DNA as a congregtation. More than once, a mob descended on the Episcopalians and ripped up their meeting house and ran them out of town.
One of the ways I often think about Holy Week is to think it through in terms of the fickle mob. That mob seemed very real as everything lovely was taken from the altar of the Lord.
There was much to think about as we gathered in a lovely garden of repose at the end to keep watch until late into the night.
Thus it was that we gathered in a bare, stark space today for what worship we could muster. God is gone. The font is closed. There will be no sacraments now.
This morning, we venerated the cross. A touch, a kiss, a look.
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