Friday, March 30, 2012


Holy Week is upon us.

Realizing that most of our readers are clergy, and that clergy don't necessarily have the opportunity to fully worship when they are responsible for leading (creating, writing, facilitating) worship:

I invite you to share five favorite Holy Week things, five things that are truly worshipful for you. It may be that it's the way they are done in your congregation (or were done in a previous one). It may be your personal preparation for certain services or observances.

Breathe. Be still. Look to the week ahead, and Holy Weeks past, and imagine the worship.

Bonus: a piece of music that "is" Holy Week for you.

1. This year, I will be gluing and grouting pieces of broken pottery into
a cross. On the first Sunday in Lent, each parishioner choose a pottery
shard and used it as a prayer piece during Lent, focusing on where the
they were broken, their lives fragmented, where are their rough edges,
what needs smoothing out, etc. They are to return them this weekend.
So, it is a process of transformation - of all that is broken and
fragmented within us that is transformed by Christ's death and
resurrection. Hoping it will turn well. The mosaic cross will be
displayed on Easter.

2. I will be washing rocks for Easter. Everyone will get a stone symbolizing
the stones in their life that Easter rolls away. So, that too, will be
holy task for me this holy week.

3. Maundy Thursday worship and communion with the stripping of the altar
prepares me for the bleakness and grief of Good Friday.

4. Silence. I am especially tuned into silence on Good Friday and Holy
Saturday. They are quiet days for me as I reflect on the events of both
days and live into the void and unsettledness of Holy Saturday.

5. Baking bread. I bake a traditional Swiss bread for Easter on Holy
Saturday. The dough is punched and beaten (like our Lord was) and
then rests under a warm damp towel in some darkness. After time, it
rises to double its size when I braid it, brush it with egg yolk, let
it rest in coolness and then bake into a beautiful and delicious
bread. So the dough transforms itself into something new and beautiful
and has given of itself for our life. It is holy and quiet act and has
been a tradition in my family for my whole life. It is only in recent
years, that I have reflected on the theological aspect of baking this
braided bread.

BONUS: The hymn - "Ah, Holy Jesus" - is the one that humbles me and touches
me each year during Holy Week.


Mary Beth said...

I love that about the stones.

Great play!!

Robin said...

I LOVE the idea of the mosaic cross!

river song said...

oh, wow, your answers and practices all are so beautiful and meaningful--thanks!

Purple said...

What a great idea with the pottery. I am tucking that into my Lenten file. As well as the bread idea.

Blessings on your Holy Week.

Faith Hope Cherrytea said...

really intrigued with your bread ~ breaking bread has always been so symbolic. now add the baking of it and new reflections as you've expressed is a wonderful lifelong tradition you're passing on... TY!

St. Inuksuk said...

If you do the mosaic cross, make sure you have enough left-over pieces as some folks forget to bring their piece back. I went to a local potter and was able to get pottery that didn't turn out or test glaze pieces and broke them myself.
I always have to add extra pieces and name for the nursing home and home bound folks.
I've been fortunate to have someone in the congregation who could make the wood cross routed out in the middles leaving no more than 1/4 inch rim all around so that the pottery pieces can be laid in.
It is a healing and meaningful visual piece for Easter.