If we Christians of a liturgical bent get through the three days - Maundy Thursday to The Vigil of Easter - we take part in a holy event unlike any other in the Christian year.
In a wonderful meditation on the meaning of the Triduum Jim Friedirch writes
"To treat the Triduum as a la carte, or to skip it altogether, would be to miss the richness of the interrelated whole. Imagine only seeing one act of Hamlet, or skipping the final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth. There are things we can only find out by entering into them fully. The journey is how we know."
Read the whole thing HERE.
The journey is how we know. It is true, often true, that the only way to know is to walk, to journey, to go from here (messy meals with friends and disaster following to absolute devastation in execution), to there, ( the stunning and strange emptiness that points to fullness of life, and joy.) Sometimes the only way to know is to take a journey. And the liturgy of this journey can be powerful.
I remember one year at St. Thomas' Newark, where I was interim, we paid considerable attention to Holy Week, and in particular the Triduum (although I didn't call it that at the time). We did indeed see and experience it as a whole. One of those who came for every part of this liturgical cycle said, "Thank you for making Holy Week holy."
It solidified my sense that we ought to look at the whole of that time (including the "intermissions" between services) as a time of meditation on last and then first things, on weeping and then dance.
At the close of Jim's meditation he says,
"In the apocryphal Acts of John, Jesus leads his disciples in a
dance. Some are resistant, but he tells them, “Those who do not dance do
not know what happens.” By the time we reach the Vigil finale Saturday
night, dancing around the altar to “Jesus Christ is Risen Today,” we
will all know what happens."
Here at the church by the bay and the big water in Lewes, Delaware, people are not much given to dance in the physical space that is our church, but perhaps, just perhaps, we will have been on the same journey, and the dance will be by the heavenly beings that hover 'round us when we sing with delight that indeed "Jesus Christ is Risen Today." And who knows, maybe there will be dancing in the aisles.