Sally over at RevGals offers this Friday Five:It seems almost irreverent to post a Friday Five on Good Friday, so I will try to treat it with some respect. I am still mulling over the darkness of last nights Tenebrae Service, the silence as we left was profound, and although I travelled home with others we did not speak, there was a holiness about it…..and yet we know that holiness was born of horror!
So as we enter into this darkest of days I offer you this Friday Five:
1. Of all the gospel accounts of the crucifixion, which one stands out for you, and why? For most of my life I had a high Christology – until one Good Friday I heard the Passion in Matthew, the one where Jesus is suffering and cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And wondered why? Why had I never “heard tht before?” Why was I more in the vein of John where Jesus does not suffer? I remember asking my priest about this, incredulous as I was. I think he said simply, Jesus suffered because he was human, he suffered like we do.
This was many years ago. Since then I have found great comfort in Celtic Spirituality and the notion of Jesus suffering as we do, suffering with us. I still love much of the Gospel of John, but the Passion, not so much. For the Passion I prefer Matthew.
2.Do you identify with any people in this account, how does that challenge you? At one point or another I have been, or felt like, each of these. Although I have never literally stolen anything, there are ways in which I can identify with the thieves on the cross. There I times I identify with Peter, deny him and turning the other way. But mostly I think I identify with the women, kneeling at the foot of the cross, never leaving his side, no matter how bad things get.
3. Hymns or silence? some hymns are particularly potent on this day. I like a few well selected pieces interspersed with a lot of silence.
4. Post a poem or a quote that sums up Good Friday for you?
When Death Comes
From New and Selected Poems by Mary Oliver (Beacon Press, 25 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02108-2892, ISBN 0 870 6819 5).
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measles-pox;
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
5.Is there a tradition you could not be without, a tradition that makes Good Friday, Good Friday? I prefer Good Friday when it is part of the Triduum and not a stand alone service. I like it when it is the middle section of a three day worship service that begins with Maundy Thursday – the footwashing, last supper, and striping of the altar followed by an all night prayer vigil at an altar of repose followed by the Good Friday service in a barren worship space, followed the next night by the Great Vigil an the arrival of Easter. So, yes, Good Friday with the other two services seems sad to me.