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One Holy Hour this Holy Week

Updated: Mar 28




For musicians in the Church and for anyone working in Catholic ministry based around liturgies, the Easter Triduum is the busiest time of the year. It is often a time we find ourselves the least spiritually connected, as we go about organising, practicing, executing, (stressing) and essentially working the most through the period of the liturgical calendar that Christ asks us to enter into union with Him most deeply - into His Passion, suffering, abandonment, sacrifice and glorious victory.


So I write this blog as much for me as for you, to let us find a moment this week, one hour, where we can give all to Christ, separated from what might be going on in our schedules. Can we give Christ an hour locked away in our room, or in front of the Tabernacle, before the liturgies of the Triduum commence? Can we take an hour to be entirely separated from our work and responsibilities, to prepare ourselves spiritually and mentally and simply be truly with Him alone, no petitions attached?


As I write this blog, I listen to the soundtrack of the Chronicles of Narnia, mainly because movie soundtracks have been my staple musical choice for writing and work since I was young, but also because (as a romantic at heart and a true former homeschooler) I love Narnia. I loved the story of the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe because of the fantasy world and the authentic beauty of it, and now I love it more because nothing sums up the magnificence of the Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ, and the prophesy of His predecessors, so simply in a non-religious setting than this children’s novel. But more than anything, the imagery of Narnia, when Aslan is slain on the stone table, is what lays graphic in my mind’s eye as an adult. Could you imagine seeing a lion slain in ritual, let alone a man? I take a similar image to Mass often. I see Christ crowned, naked, bleeding and gasping for air on the altar. I see His side lying across the altar, face upwards to Heaven, his knees slightly bent upwards and all the flagellations that he bears for us, as he gasps for air, moments before his last breath. It’s maybe a graphic image for some, but one I think healthy to have in our sanitised world. That is the sacrifice of the Mass – where the Lion is slain – and sometimes when we are so busy, we struggle to have that spiritual moment at the time, because in choir or at the organ, we have other distractions happening. It’s understandable and inevitable, but I have had so many Holy Weeks go by, where my spiritual experience was lacking because of my responsibility to the work at hand, and yet now I know how important it is to be spiritually fed so to feed others.


So this Holy Week, we should consider taking time, a slow moment, separated from our ministry and our responsibilities, to simply be with Christ. To be with Him at the Last Supper, to stand by the Cross as he bleeds out on Good Friday, and to see Him slain on the altar before we take Communion. We may not be able to do that with the congregation, but we can do that beforehand.


You are first and foremost a son or daughter of God, and He wants you just for yourself, and not for what you bring to the liturgies. Let Christ take you on a true journey of His Passion, just you and Him.

 

Isaiah 53:5

 "But he was wounded for our transgressions,

He was bruised for our iniquities;

Upon him was the chastisement that made us whole,

And with his stripes we are healed.”

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