the methods and means of procrastination

maundy thursday
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Etymology: Middle English maunde ceremony of washing the feet of the poor on Maundy Thursday, from Old French mandé, from Latin mandatum command; from Jesus' words in John 13:34 - M-W

Had a really good Maundy Thursday service last night, which is to actually say an effective service. In all I think we totaled about 20 in the pews and 13 at the altar. Just about right for a "Pews/Robes" soccor match.

This is the service that sometimes involves washing of feet (or washing of hands as a substitute) by the clergy (or sometimes parishners) of the congregation. Some places its manditory, others its voluntary (sometimes completely ignored).

That done, we run through a regular service (vs. a lenten service) which is then "broken up" at the end of the serivce with the stripping of the sanctuary, the priests, the lights. The congregation then leaves in the dark, in twos and threes, with not a word between them. Though our current parish actually processes the altar veil to an altar of repose, usually most things are just moved into the sacrasty and stored.

The point is a)christ has left the building b)god has been supressed underground c)we are alone in the world. At the service last night, I was thinking of different ways in which this could be communicated. A raid is probably the most appropriate.

This is the service I usually sync with more than any other part of Holy Week. Easter is always too brash, Good Friday, at least here, is confused.

It reminds me of The Summer Tree by GGKay. It has something to do with legend or myth, but in such away that you are bound up in its history - at Maundy Thursday, we learn are part. The role we will ever be consigned to will be the betrayer, the lost, the isolated, the refugee. This is the moment of testing. Of your faith, convictions, beliefs, your actions. What do you do when the light goes out? Don't get me wrong. We all fail the test every time. The pope fails the test everytime. The point is that we reach out to god while we go through it.

To me, this service always bring with it a sense of grinding inevitability. And you go through it anyway because though you know how the story ends, you do it to participate in the dinner and the closeness. The feet washing. The relation with christ. It's some of the realest pagantry still alive in the episcopal church today. Which is my kind of religion, or what I believe worship is all about.
On a couple of side notes, got to see one of our godsons acolyte for the first time. He was really more of a junior acolyte, but he got up there and did really good for a 6 year-old. Sitting still is half the battle. I was very impressed, at anyrate.
He seems to take to the robes by choice, which is confirming our suspicion that he is on the road to being like Darth Vadar when he grows up.

Also - I realized at some point that when you strip a priest down to his clerical blacks, he looks a lot like a stage hand.

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