There’s a “churchy” word for the stuff we don’t fully grasp, even when we’ve got some kind of gist: Mysteries. But I think combobulated sounds just right for today. I’ve come across some pretty naff “explanations” of the christian (and pagan) celebrations taking place around this season, but I’ve also come across some pretty outstanding stuff, so I’m scrapbooking it all for my imaginary reader.
Firstly, something personal, a place that I am keen to visit again in Easter Future… Malta… the explanations are very tourist centered, but there are some lovely images and explanations of the atmosphere in the islands at this time of year… much harder to pin down, but I do find myself missing it. One further photo, of the shrine on the hill to Laferla Cross this Maundy Thursday:
So, “Maundy Thursday”… remembering “the last supper”… I spent mine sharing a meal and an informal communion in a newly discovered pub/ eatery with close friends. A very different communion experience to the one later this week, in a very “high” church in Wales visit… and yet at their heart, two striking similarities. As we passed the bread one to another in the pub we said to each other, “the body of Christ, broken for you” and today in church we affirmed, in a formal way, that, “We are all one body because we all share in one bread.” A theme which this little video clip captures, playing with the historical themes, as well as a hints of a song that’s more than a bit famous in Cymru:
These themes are embodied in these symbolic re-enactments in some old church traditions:
With Pope Francis giving some focus on what this act means: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/17/pope-francis-foot-washing-maundy-thursday_n_5166531.html
Some good Friday traditions seem to make more sense to me than others do, but I did appreciate the selection of different photos collected here: http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContentMulti/99368/Multimedia.aspx
Ones which seem particularly related to good friday follow:
That last image segways nicely into what I liked most about this particular collection of photographs… they weren’t all “religious”… they encompassed political protest, human tragedy, injustice, anger… which also leads on to this idea of Countless Calvaries.
Some deeper reflections on this theme, come from a news article from Australia, linking the actions of activists with this one event… Easter made me do it!
I think something also reflected, but differently in this reflection on the brutality of what happened to Jesus.
And a very personal reflection on the physical reality in this account, which opens with a quote by TS Elliott, “human kind cannot bear very much reality…”
That link to considering the stark realities of this particular death, comes across vividly in the next collection of pieces considering Easter Saturday.
First a link to a very striking piece of art, by Hans Holbein the Younger…
And these two considerations of the perspective of Jesus’ Followers:
A similar atmosphere then permeates these first two pieces of writing considering Easter Sunday…
It’s a very contrasting approach to that used in this Easter Day Invocation
which instead weaves the old story into everyday life in this season of the year.
So to close, I thought I’d hark back to a post I’ve already fawned over. But I still like it. It puts into words that link between bloody material reality, and the hope expressed in the short declaration of faith, now familiar, and yet still powerful for me:
“Christ Has Died. Christ is Risen. Christ Will Come Again.”
One day I will get John’s poetic description of this tattooed on me…
but for now a picture of a chick, it is Easter after all 😉