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great and holy friday…

Probably it will last another 10 minutes, maybe only 8 or so. This morning quiet spot, after prayer and lighting candles, coffee in hand, reflecting on what lies ahead and I’m struck with some grief. And maybe that’s appropriate, this being Holy Week and all.

Being so far out of step with the western calendar puts me in an odd place. There is something powerful about having all the accountability, the cultural norm, the wash of social media friends who are participating in the Lenten season…but this year, they’ve found their Easter already. This year the marshmallow peeps are stale, the bunnies are missing from windows and end caps of grocery stores. This year the calendars are so far apart I don’t even see Easter candy on sale, tucked away in any corner or cranny, nothing.

And this is, in some small way, is how it ought to be I guess. Out of step. Off calendar. Set apart. It’s a near constant struggle to access that deep hope of redemption, that deep joy to come especially in light of my poor attendance at Liturgy this week. Between children’s illnesses and school commitments and work commitments I find, once again, I’m completely unprepared to enter in. It’s now, in these small moments, before the house wakes and the noise returns to the quiet, that I find that Lent based sweet spot and still I worry it’s not enough and I’m back again, in the grief, the loss, the worry and the fear. I imagine in this quiet moment, that perhaps this is in some fashion the state the disciples found themselves late on that Good Friday. Perhaps they worried that all they’d done was waste time while Christ was with them, that now it was too late, now it was all over and never enough. The advantage I have over the disciples is of course that I already know how the story unfolds. I know that the chances are good that I’ll have another Holy Week, another Divine Liturgy, another opportunity to enter in yet I find, here, in this one quiet moment before the storm of activity starts again, I am consumed with grief and loss and worry and fear. And so, I abandon myself to it this morning, rather than stuff it down or reason it out. I leave it there, that grief and I light the candles, I read the words of the prayers of St Ephraim and the passion readings of the Gospels and I wait, hoping it will fill something missing in me, something I need so desperately I cannot even begin to name it.

#easternorthodox #GoodFriday #greatlent