Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday five: Holy Week-a-thon

Sally of the RevGals writes:

Holy Week is almost upon us, I suspect that ordained or not, other revgal/pals calendars look a bit like mine, FULL, FULL, FULL.....

Jesus was great at teaching us to take time out, even in that last week, right up to Maundy Thursday he withdrew, John's gospel tells us he hid! He hid not because he was afraid, but because he knew that he needed physical, mental and spiritual strength to get through...

So, faced with a busy week:

1. What restores you physically?

Sleep. Quiet time. Good food. A brisk walk around one of the many lakes in town.

2. What strengthens you emotionally/mentally?

Time with Beloved. Poetry. Music (of which there will, thankfully, be a lot). Rubbing a puppy belly.

3. What encourages you spiritually?

Prayer. Music (see what my friend Mags has to say about this; it's wonderful!). Poetry. Walking in the woods or by the shore (though I usually can't manage that during Holy Week!).

4. Share a favorite poem or piece of music from the coming week.

This is a favorite hymn of mine because the plaintive melody is so well matched with the text. I'm an especial fan of the Carolyn Jennings's arrangement for SSA voices and cello, but her colleague (and my teacher...actually, both of them were in grad school) John Ferguson's arrangement is great, too. Here he is, accompanying it at the organ:

5.There may be many services for you to attend/ lead over the next week, which one are you most looking forward to and why? If there aren't do you have a favorite day in Holy week if so which one is it?

I'm a Maundy Thursday fan. It's intimate and honest, and it calls us into relationship with God and with one another in a refreshing way. Our service this year will be candlelit, in the round, with the bread and wine passed hand to hand instead of lining up for it. Simple Taize refrains by the congregation, and I'm going to sing this hymn that Bonhoeffer wrote in prison:

By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered,
and confidently waiting come what may,
we know that God is with us night and morning,
and never fails to greet us each new day.

Yet is this heart by its old foe tormented
still evil days bring burdens hard to bear;
oh, give our frightened souls the sure salvation
for which, O Lord, You taught us to prepare.

And when this cup You give is filled to brimming
with bitter suffering, hard to understand,
we take it thankfully and without trembling,
out of so good and so beloved a hand.

Yet when again in this same world You give us
the joy we had, the brightness of Your Sun,
we shall remember all the days we lived through,
and our whole life shall then be Yours alone.


Sally said...

That youtube video has given me chills, thank you for posting this.

Sophia said...

That Maundy Thursday sounds lovely....Also the SSA and cello arrangment of the hymn, both of which timbres I am a fan.

Jan said...

Thank you. You are truly feeding my soul lately. I like the thought of rubbing a puppy's belly. Thank's for the music (as always) and the poem.

MaineCelt said...

John Wesley once wrote a basic "home health care" text for low-income folks in which a stomach-ache could be comforted with the help of a warm puppy on one's lap. Oh, yes, stomach aches and spirit-aches alike!

Diane Vogel Ferri said...

Lovely rendition. Our Good Friday service will be everything from Messiah pieces to me and my ol'guitar singing a Michael Card tune.

Mary Beth said...


Chorus said...

Great play. I love the image of rubbing the puppy's belly too... how peaceful.

Processing Counselor said...

Yea...napping. And how about Iowa!

Choralgirl said...


MaineCelt--that's delightful!

Diane--snap a cord, Sista.

ProcCoun--Yee ha!

All y'all, thanks for coming by!

LutherLiz said...

Ahhh, Ferg...what a great thing to discover today! Thanks!