Monday Morning Musings: Holy Week Hangover, indeed

My friends over at RevGals posted for this Monday and titled it, Holy Week Hangover. I think that is an apt description of the exhaustion I (and others like me) feel after planning, preparing, preaching, and presiding over lots of services from Palm Sunday to Easter Day. It is a week of such great fatigue, of bone weariness, and of amazing awe as the worship services unpack the Christian story. I strive to bring that story alive in so many ways: the visual image of the worship space; the text, words, prayers, hymns…it allows me to tap into my training in theater, lighting design for dance, and interior design. And at small church we manage to pull it off so very well.

True, not many people come. But for those who do, for those who come to all of the Holy Week service, they have travelled a journey.

Some years I wonder why I bother, for so few people. But this year I know why. I need to do it. I could not live Holy Week with out this. And so I am grateful for the people who take this journey with me.

Now, this week will only continue to be busy. Yes, I have a little down time. Today, lunch with a friend. Pay bills. Get taxes ready. Call my parish administrator about a few things. CLEAN MY HOUSE! (ok, that might be more than I have the energy to do…)

But then the week takes off in lightening speed.

  • I have members of church search committee coming for a site visit this Sat. and Sun.
  • I have to make flight reservations for my family and I to visit another church and meet the vestry for a second search process.
  • And I anticipate a phone call from a third search committee regarding a site visit.
  • I have a phone interview with a fourth search church search committee late Thursday afternoon.
  • I have to write a sermon for Sunday.
  • I have to finish the paper work for CREDO, a church sponsored 8 day retreat/conference for priests to review their lives: spiritually, financially, vocationally, holistically….
  • I leave for CREDO next Monday.

Good news. I was feeling tremendous anxiety about all this. But now I don’t. I just want to find a way to be still enough to listen deeply to the Spirit and trust that God is leading me where I need to be.

I know that times of transformation come with great struggle. Murray Stein, a Jungian analyst wrote a book about the great transformations that occur in our lives, generally beginning around our mid thirties or early forties, and lasting nearly a decade. He used the image of a butterfly and the transition from caterpillar to cocoon, to butterfly – chrysallis. These days are the cocoon stages where great work is taking place on a deep, interior level. One cannot be certain of the exact outcome, only that when the work is done, a major transformation takes place in the human.

A transformation of being, body, mind and soul. A new person is born, even as the old person remains. It is a resurrection image: Jesus in his new life still carried the marks of the crucifixion. He was scarred yet whole, better, more fully himself.

These last four years have been very difficult for me. I don’t think the challenges are going to end anytime soon. But I do suspect something transformational is going on….


About Terri C Pilarski

I am an Episcopal priest serving a delightfully progressive, interesting, creative congregation. I have been married more than half my life to the same man. We have two grown children, plus two dogs and two cats, although the number of four legged household members changes from time to time. I love to garden, knit, read, and play on Facebook or with my blog. I have been a practitioner of daily meditation since I was nineteen. I practice yoga five days a week and walk every where I am able too.
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10 Responses to Monday Morning Musings: Holy Week Hangover, indeed

  1. Songbird says:

    How beautiful!Thank you, and bless you in this busy week.

  2. Deb says:

    It’s true – God’s work is always under the skin, so to speak, and where we don’t really see it until it’s all said and done…So – I will pray for the site visits, the vestry calls etc etc etc and watch and see what God unfolds!And besides, it’s not a HOBBY (grin) it’s an adventure! BLESSINGS!!!Deb

  3. Deb says:

    PSNope – not offended… I did laugh hard (but didn’t publish them – you do have vestry visits et al!):)d

  4. mompriest says:

    Indeed…thanks. (oh, and I’m glad you laughed).

  5. Sally says:

    Great thoughts- beautiful pictures- thank you.

  6. Mompriest,Thank you for the visit and the kinds words. I will give it ten years and then call you. Heh.And blessings on all that is going on with you. God’s grace is like rain, falling on all of us whether we know it or not. I pray that God makes that grace known to you in all of this.

  7. Mother Laura says:

    I am rejoicing greatly at the latest step in the academic portion of my complicated vocational quest (see last several posts at my blog for details if interested). So bring all of that to my prayer that you will find peace of mind through the process and a similar happy ending to your own search.

  8. Mother Laura says:

    Oh, I just noticed you put me on your blogroll…what an honor! Thanks!

  9. Rev Dr Mom says:

    Wow, you have a lot going on with searches. Hope it all turns out well!

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