Monday, 17 March 2008

Holy Week Preparations.

The above image has been our Lenten picture for this year, featuring on all our handouts, posters etc. I found it on the internet with no suggestion of who might have drawn it or indeed who owns it, but it has been very well received and inspired some devotion, so thank you to whoever is responsible.
For Palm Sunday, of course, the processional cross was unveiled and decorated with palm branches, now it and the crucifix on the Altar are veiled in white ready for the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Thursday evening. I have also wasted half an hour finding where I put the box of bells and the crotulus after last years Holy Week. Pardon? I may hear you saying. Well, apart from the fact that What? Or What's that old chap? is preferable to the horrible use of the 'P' word, I can understand why you sound confused! The bells are for the Gloria on Thursday, they are rung by the clergy, servers and choir and the church bells are tolled joyfully after the word 'Gloria' is intoned at the beginning of the prayer, then the bells are silent in the Church until after the beginning of the Gloria on Holy Saturday night, when the same process is repeated. For the consecration on Thursday and the entrance on Friday, the crotulus is used, which is an old fashioned football rattle really. It gives people quite a start, but further elaborates the story which we are unfolding. We also of course need both our thuribles shining nicely for the procession to the altar of repose, whether Matthew our new boat boy is tall enough to carry a thurible yet remains to be seen however but his brother Christopher can always guide him I am sure.
I have also been looking for the stylus for the Paschal Candle, to trace over the cross and date already moulded onto it, the incense pins have ben found and I have stocked up on firelighters for the Easter fire, having long ago abandoned liturgical orthodoxy over the manner of it's lighting in favour of a huge and instant blaze which will also consume itself reasonably quickly after we have finished using it and gone inside. The little stand for the Paschal Candle which holds it next to the ligilium has also been found but is now too small for the magnificent candles annually donated. Another Holy Thing has been seconded to take it's place, however. The second white gothic High Mass set has also been given an airing for Saturday, with so many things which could be spilt it is the only one we trust ourselves with! It is also rather nice and has a matching cope, so suits us fine, we have abandoned the confusing and odd changes of colour of vestments during the Vigil along with most of the Western Church. The candles for the Altar of repose have also begun to be prepared and I am looking forward to tomorrows Chrism Mass in Manchester Cathedral. I will take photographs as I can for you to see.