Holy Week

Hrm… there’s no default mood icon that is spiritual/contemplative/whatever.

I am getting up in less than 4 hours to go to a sunrise easter service. Hopefully this will not completely make me crazy, seeing as how I have two lab reports to finish up tomorrow. I went to the service last year, and I really enjoyed it. I don’t usually do stuff with SCF (the Swarthmore Christian Fellowship), since my faith doesn’t really fit into some of their organizational beliefs, but the sunrise service is nice.

I went to the Episcopal church in Swarthmore for their Good Friday service, and it was one of the least spiritually fulfilling services I have ever been to. I think it was the complete lack of interaction that really bothered me. There was a 30 minute Gospel of John section, where three men sang at us, and then a 15 minute homily where a priest talked to us, and then 3 pages of recitative prayer from the Book of Common Prayer. The only good part was singing the hymn “Were You There?”, which is definitely my favorite Good Friday/Lenten hymn. Even that wasn’t that great, given that the choir outnumbered the people in pews. That’s a serious attendance problem right there…

The cross nearly fell over in the middle of the service. I mentioned this in conversation today, and someone said that if the torah touches the ground at an Orthodox synagogue, you have to burn it to the ground and rebuild. Is that true?

I miss the tenebrae service that my home church does. There’s something very awesome about the sun setting as the lights and candles in the church are slowly extinguished over the course of the service. I was an acolyte for it at our previous church, which was cool, and a few years ago I carried the big wooden cross up to the altar. I think I gave a particularly realistic performance, seeing as how I could barely lift it ;o). Also, I got to wear the black acolyte robes, which I think only come out for Good Friday.

Anyway, I really like the tenebrae service, because the mix of prayer and hymns is very interactive, and the addition of the dimming light adds a very powerful emotional and spiritual element to the service. My parents went this year, and said it was as good as ever. Ah well; I guess I’m just stuck in the land of mediocre churches out here. Maybe only Minnesotans can get Lutheranism right :oP.

One comment on “Holy Week
  1. debka_notion says:

    “someone said that if the torah touches the ground at an Orthodox synagogue, you have to burn it to the ground and rebuild. Is that true?”

    Completely untrue. THere is a custom that is quite widespread, but pretty much without any strong basis that if a Torah falls on the ground the person who dropped it together with whomever was there should fasta collective 40 days in the next year. (Thus if there were 10 people there, which unless you’re just moving a Torah is the minimum it should be taken out of the ark to be used for, each person would have to fast 4 days). However this is based, if on anything, on the custom that if one drops tfillin (phylacteries, bound on the forehead and arm with passages from Torah inside), one should fast for a day. The custom to fast for the Torah is found documented only in the Mishnah Brurah, which wasn’t written until the 1920s or 30s, I forget which- but it’s darn recent (not that it doesn’t talk about roosters- it does, I promise you). And even there it’s given without any proper reasoning. There is no custom to burn anything, much less the synagogue.

    SOrry to rant at you. I came across this while reading ‘s friends page, and felt like elucidating, since otherwise, it being a day I really oughtn’t be on the computer anyways (end of Passover), I wasn’t going to be advertising my computer use.

Nurd Up!