1. Three years ago I wrote a post about Holy Week called Going to Church (a Lot). What I wrote 3 years ago still applies to me today.
Why do we go to church so much this week? Well, these are special services that are only offered during Holy Week. For me they help me to focus on Christ’s mission here on earth and in a way that I can not explain with words, the services allow me to join with Him. It starts for me on Palm Sunday. Liturgically we are outside of time and we experience the triumphant entry of Christ into Jerusalem.
2. The Bridegroom Matins service remains one of my most favorite of all the services I have ever been too. One of these years I might surprise myself and not cry but this was not the year.
3. This Holy Week has been very difficult as we do not have our van and we are borrowing the car of dear friends. This means we do not all fit in the car. We've been rotating who goes to what services. It has worked out but it's just not the way I planned it to be.
4. Holy Friday Matins served on Thursday evening takes us through Christ's Passion Week. We have 12 Gospel Readings that take us through that week. At around Gospel reading number 5 the Priests (Priest, I guess if you only have one, but we have more!) bring out the cross with the icon of Christ. It is a solemn moment as we are outside of time and space and liturgically we are right there when our Lord is crucified.
5. I have a secret. Now of course once I write it, it won't be a secret anymore but you won't tell on me right? Third Stasis (Tone three) of the Praises of the Matins of Holy Saturday (served Friday night), always makes me giggle. Why on earth would singing lines like "O Son of God and King of all my God and my creator how canst Thou endure such suffering?"
Well I giggle because as we move through the service we move from the death of Christ upon the Cross and His burial to the praises of why he suffered for us and we begin to anticipate His Holy Resurrection. I don't know if is because it is Tone Three or some other reason but it has a happier feel to it. I can't help but smile. The melody fits such lines as this: "By dying, O my God, Thou hast put death to death, through Thy divine power."