Holy Week is always crazy for church people, and today was the busiest of them all. For Easter Sunday, we're having 3 new people join the team - 2 vocalists and 1 percussionist. On top of that, we have all new sound equipment to accommodate the new members, and today, we had our one and only rehearsal to try and pull it all together.
After 2 hours of learning new tech, new songs, and new parts, we had a short break before this evening's Maundy Thursday service. Today is the day we celebrate the Last Supper and the institution of Holy Communion. A little internet research earlier this week revealed that "Maundy" comes from "Mandatum novum" or "new commandment," referencing John 13:34, when Jesus said, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."
If you've never been to a Maundy Thursday service before, it can be very powerful. Our service tonight included music, communion, prayer, and foot washing. The foot washing is always amazing and personal. The music was moving - including Gerald's song, "The Good Tree" - and the prayers were meaningful. At the end of the service, the altar area is stripped to prepare for Good Friday. We exited the church in darkness and in silence.
Holy Week is busy, but I guess the challenge is to be deliberate in taking and cherishing these moments of silence and stillness.