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burning like matchsticks in the face of the darkness
 
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Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

Time Event
9:14p
[CAUMC/CWM] Maundy Thursday [2007-03-20]
When I came in to the building, a woman I knew from CAUMC Bible Study woman said she was going up in a few minutes -- there was already one person up there.  Hi, I had checked my watch before I walked in and it was like 7:28, so I would HOPE there would be at least one person up there.  But I didn't say that.  (Service started like ten minutes after I walked in.)

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9:15p
[CAUMC/CWM] Good Friday [2007-03-21]
Good Friday: A Service of Tenebrae: A Liturgy of Loss

     The Tenebrae service is an ancient tradition dating back to the third century. Tenebrae is from the Latin for shadows and the light is gradually extinguished showing the dying of Christ. Due to the nature of the service, no offering will be taken. Instead offerings may be left in the plate at the door. You may stay in prayer following the service as long as you wish.

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9:16p
[CHPC] Easter Sunday [2008-03-23]
I headed out a little bit earlier than usual since I recall it being really full last year (I distinctly recall being surprised at how crowded it was and it then clicking that oh yes, "Christmas and Easter Christians") and waiting to cross the street near the church was RoomieKatie and her mom. I asked if they were going to Easter service, and they said yes. I asked if they were going to Tufts chapel and they said no, this church. The mom asked if this was my church and I said yes, explaining, "I'm one of those dorks who can't pick a church," but that yes this is where I go in the morning.

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9:17p
[CWM] Easter Sunday [2008-03-23]
I kind of wish I'd taken a picture of the flower-bedecked altar for use as an "abundance" icon or something (though the cream-colored drapes and all the white lilies, I'm not sure it would have looked how I wanted when shrunk down to icon size).

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9:27p
"Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ is with us now!"
Last night I went to a Green Alcohol and Green Food party at Cate's new abode -- bus to Lechmere and then walked, though looking at the map the walk from Central Square might be about the same distance as the walk from Lechmere, so I may try that next time.

I mostly just hung around listening to people, which was fine.  The conversations were highly geeky at all times, with topics ranging from from alcohol to math.

I think it was Ian-the-bartender who was talking about renaissance cocktails, including the Jack Rose, which apparently a number of local bartenders spent some time going through all variant recipes and figuring out how to make the very best.  Apparently Eastern Standard at Kenmore is one of the places one can get a really good Jack Rose around here.  It's a $10 cocktail, so possibly that'll be a special occasion kind of excursion.

Over the course of the night I had a Grasshopper, a green Mai Tai, and a martini (because someone had said that on hand that night were two of the best gins for people who don't like gin).  I ended up not drinking much of the martini, however, because I was by that point cuddling attached to a Cate.  When I was getting ready to leave, I took another sip of it and yeah, it tasted strongly of olives (the sips I'd had when it was first served were fine, though).

Dinner was stuffed crust pizza from Cecilia's, which was tasty.

Company included a vegetarian-from-birth Unitarian who gives things up for Lent (her mother comes from a Lutheran background) and a woman who was talking about Johnny Weir -- which of course reminded me of mosca.

Around midnight, someone with a car who lived in my neck of the woods was heading out, so at that point I left as well, since I did want to sleep in my own bed and didn't really wanna spring for a cab (or walk all that way home).

I didn't even bother setting my alarm for 5am (in case I felt up for going to sunrise service) but just set it for 9am (to get up for regular morning service).  I think this was a good choice.


There's only this girl
waiting for stained-glass sympathy,
pretending the green train windows
will turn to the grass of Central Park,
pretending spring will come
and pare away the time,
wash the distance off her skin like sand.
     -from "Easter" by Emily Bennett (posted by musesfool)
The couple weeks before Palm Sunday, I sang "Christ the Lord is Ris'n Today" to myself a lot (I always accidentally mix in "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing" -- seriously, I kept inserting things like "veiled in flesh the Godhead see"; I blame the similar tunes).  It would be melodramatic to call them my "desert days," but.

I'm still not really well-focused on, well on anything really.  Life does not neatly follow the liturgical calendar.  And hey, Eastern Orthodox Easter isn't for about a month, as they schedule theirs near Passover.  Which reminds me that l would like to maybe actually attend a Passover seder this year (since I've never been to one).

I'm not sure what I want from anyone, which is frustrating.  I may find myself singing the Maundy Thursday: Stay with me, remain here with me, watch and pray, watch and pray.

I wrote the above before going to evening church, and I'm really glad I went.  Having had houseguests two weekends in a row and not getting enough sleep, I knew that not traveling out to Norwood for Easter was the right decision (last year I went to sunrise service, CHPC, and then Norwood; this year I did CHPC and CWM) but CWM service was a really good experience.  The small round table altar was covered with and surrounded by flowers (lilies, tulips, daffodils, etc.) and there was so much enthusiasm and warmth and joy, that it really helped with feeling the Easter spirit.  And it's definitely the closest to a church home that I have.  And we ended with an "inclusive" version of "Christ the Lord is Ris'n Today" which didn't feel awkward (as those rewrites often do to me) and we sang all six verses and it was so enthusiastic and just good.

In her sermon [blogspot, 7Villages] Tiffany talked about how in the Farewell Discourse (John 13-17) Jesus says over and over: "Know these three things: love, peace, and joy," and that we resist joy for so many reasons, but that God really wants us to have joy.
    One of the bits I wrote down was "to live a life of Good Fridays is to deny" -- and I forget exactly what she said, but pulling up the online text: "But to dwell forever in a world of Good Fridays negates God’s proclamation that life and love are always more powerful than the forces of death and destruction."
    And of course she quoted from The Color Purple :)  "I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it."
    It was a really good sermon for me to hear.

The Meditation was: "You may weep and mourn, but your pain will turn to joy...and no one will take that joy from you." -John 16:20ff
     I think my joy sadhana verse is going to be "Test everything. Hold on to the good." (1 Thessalonians 5:21, NIV), but that would make a really good joy sadhana verse.

***

hummingwolf posted an excerpt from the Easter Sermon of John Chrysostom, which I found stunning:
Hell grasped a corpse, and met God.
Hell seized earth, and encountered heaven.
Hell took what it saw, and was overcome by what it could not see.
***

Bonus which made the night: e-mails in which we weren't arguing.  It gives me hope that we can do this after all, which I'd been doubting recently.  /cryptic

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