This post was written (and the accompanying offering compiled) by Hilary Ann Golden, MDiv. Hilary joins us in each liturgical season this year through Ordinary Time, offering insight into how we can integrate the liturgical calendar into our own journeys. We’ll hear from Hilary next week during the the Easter season. -Lacy
The events of Holy Week tend to bolt past us like a freight train into the explosion of celebration that is Eastertide. This short season within the longer season of Lent contains some of the most significant and intense stories in the life of Jesus—his kingly entry into Jerusalem, his last supper with his intimate circle of friends, his lamenting prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, his betrayal and arrest, his ridicule, torture, and humiliation at the hands of the authorities, his death, and that deafening silence of grief.
And yet somehow we speed through the stories – sometimes even ignoring the stories – to get to the good stuff of Easter.
From Sunday until Saturday, a lot takes place. Perhaps it is meaningful for us to feel all the different emotions — from the jubilation and excitement of Palm Sunday to the resounding stillness of Holy Saturday — at the same pace that they happened. The stories draw us into the same sense of confusion, anticipation, and grief that those who had witnessed these events underwent.
As we continue the contemplation of what it means to be pilgrims and wanderers in this life, it is important ask ourselves: What we are missing along the way? What have we failed to see because we have rushed by? What have we let fade into the distance because of our fears of how it might change us?
In this Holy Week, join me in slowing down and immersing ourselves in the painful events of Jesus’ story. The Holy Week Refrain guide contains prayers, reflections, and spiritual practices to usher us into the heart of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.
“Death will be a quick turn,
the winking of an eye
but dying turns and twists and waits and teases.”
from Easter in the Very Belly of Nothingness
Click the image below to download the Holy Week Guide (PDF):
Have you ever taken the opportunity to slow down during Holy Week, fully feeling the weight of its stories?