Friday, 21 March 2008

The In Between Times.

The Baptistry with the veiled cross and candlesticks in the early morning light.

The Altar of Repose in same light.

We had twelve for Compline at Midnight last night, which was thought to be auspicious. After Compline I extinguished all the candles save the temporary sanctuary light above the altar of repose and cleared them away, leaving just two acolytes canclesticks by the altar for tomorrow. I then detached the humeral veil from the altar and covered the house of repose with it before putting the veiled crucifix for todays liturgy at the font with two further acolytes candlesticks by it. Laying the High Mass set out took me happily to great tiredness and, overcoming the temptation to sleep in the Church, as used to be done (because I knew I would wake at four am with a sore back, cursing my stupidity) I went home for a well earned rest. Today I was reading the Passion to someone who cannot come to Church, so I was not there for the liturgies, although I have plenty of pictures to show you anyhow.
The Triduum is full of these 'in between bits', tomorrow morning for example will see many of us in the Church first thing decorating the altar, putting up flowers, trimming candles and cleaning up, ready for the great feast. These bits, just as much as the ceremonies themselves, help to focus our minds on what we are doing, particularly that those of us who clean and polish and cover statues and arrange flowers, are the same people who are at the services. This is a timely reminder that we are not doing this for anyone but God, it would be a monumental waste of time and resources if it were otherwise. The people of God coming together to beautify and reverance His sanctuary is a wonderful sight, however if I try and tell people this, I just get a duster shoved in my hand, so I will tell all you lot instead!