Sunday, April 24, 2011

Triduum plus

Ought one go to church on Easter? The Triduum is pretty intense, and complete; many let the Easter Vigil sound the final note, and rest from their churchly labors. As is becoming my wont (it started in Melbourne), I rested in a different way - went to a different church. Indeed, it seems like spreading oneself around makes a kind of theological sense, too. Maundy Thursday with one's own congregation makes sense - though/and I enjoyed the sense that the same scene of footwashing was taking place throughout the city and beyond. (Of course traditional Catholics visit seven other churches that night.) But attending Good Friday at an unfamiliar church proved valuable in its way, too: the events of that awe-ful day are
too grand for the comfort of a familiar worshiping community. The Easter Vigil back home with one's peeps makes good sense: turning one's church in to a catacomb and then living out the history of salvation together (especially as it is read and sung by your regular fellow worshipers) is powerful. But Easter Day? Spend it with glad strangers! The Easter message is big news, after all. Out in the open now it reaches way beyond any congregation or denomination, embracing all. So I went to the Roman Catholic church of St. Francis Xavier, the parish of my friend M. Overflowing with people! Pastels abounding! (The newly restored and reconsecrated church itself appeared to be made of marzipan.) And top-quality performance of the rather Broadway-type music favored in contemporary Catholicism. After the austere and archaic Episcopal Triduum it seemed almost evangelical in energy, overflowing with life.

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