wildeabandon: crucifix necklace on a purple background (religion)
Well that's certainly been a spiritually intense day. Unsurprisingly, keeping silent vigil for sixteen hours (even with a short break to get some coffee and breakfast about thirteen hours in) is both physically and psychologically taxing.

At first I was consciously trying to keep my thoughts focused on our Lord and his tribulations in the garden of Gethsemane, remonstrating with myself every time my mind wandered and dragging it back. As the night deepened I realised this was folly, and allowed my thoughts to drift away; in retrospect the fact that they wandered back of their own accord, bringing me new insights and answers to the question "Where is God in my day to day life" isn't that surprising.

The real revelation came later though, after the watch had ended, and we entered into the Solemn Liturgy of Good Friday, a service which draws you in to the horror of the crucifixion, and always leaves me feeling somewhat fragile. Entered into from a starting point of having been awake for 24 hours, alone in the garden watching my Beloved Lord suffer, something just broke. I began to weep as Fr Daniel delivered an austere and beautiful chant of Psalm 22, and continued through the Passion of our Lord.

Fr Justin, always an outstanding preacher, was on particularly fine form, with a meditation both impassioned and erudite on the different interpretations of Jesus' final word, Τετέλεσται, "It is finished." We were invited to shed our hindsight knowledge of the resurrection, which makes clear the valedictory nature of the phrase, that Jesus' great saving work, His fulfilment of the scripture and His redemption of the whole world is now complete. It is finished. Instead we were asked, hear those words through the ears of Mary, of the disciples. Watch the last breath of our dear son, our beloved friend and teacher, and see his life, and all that he has worked for disappear, ended, ruined. It is finished.

By now I am a complete mess of tears. I don't believe I can truly imagine what it can have been like to be there, but I understand better now than I ever have before.
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Sebastian

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