Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Easter Triduum

The last lap of the 40 days lent as per my church tradition started on Wednesday, the real beginning of the holy week. Thursday was a special day to everyone, since it was the end of the week and beginning of a long weekend. being a slightly conservative, i put it upon me to celebrate holy Thursday at the basilica. (if i was able i could have flown to the Vatican!) i had already missed the prism mass since i was too busy during the day. as expected the roads leading to town were packed to capacity. i don't know where everyone else was going but even the basilica packing was full. however the feast was as solemn as always with the preparation starting proper and the church being striped bare of all signs of holiness. at the end we escorted the body to the hall when there was an exposition and benediction throughout the night. the exposition was very delicately decorated and most worshipers could be seen posing for snaps with the holy of holies. indeed nokia has turned everyone into a camera man/woman. the cameras clicked as the songs went on and more people moved closer. in the past you sought to be closer for the holy feeling but this time i saw more people move closer for better shots!

the Friday's passion procession started as per tradition from flora hostels snaking its way through haile salasie road , parliament road and into the church. the slow procession was full of songs , reciting of the rosary , via crucis and meditations. the alter boys carried a big cross enacting the experience of Jesus. the whole procession was well organized with traffic policemen on bikes and some in a car, controlling traffic on the busy route. finally we arrived in the empty church for the veneration of the cross. only 15 minutes was available for those who wanted to take water and 'freshen up'. then started the long veneration service that starts with a long gospel reading. after the veneration, the church was again left empty. there was no fanfare, and people left in silence, no songs not piano, no drums. that night was for reflection as we awaited the final part th easter vigil. Good friday is the most important day for christians and is always a good time for reflection and new beginning

Saturday was a silent day with no major functions only penance for those who wanted and waiting for the vigil later that night. vigil is also called 'kesha' in other parts. during the vigil, a large bonfire is lit from where everyone lights candles and then people collect holy water.

i hope it was a happy and refreshing easter to all.

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