Maundy Thursday

An almost empty dining room.  A few boxes and a painting lie up against a door.

Yesterday was Maundy Thursday. It’s traditional that at the end of the evening Eucharist, during which we particularly remember the Last Supper and re-enact the washing of the disciples feet, to completely strip bare the sanctuary (the ‘pointy end’ by the altar). The stripping the altar takes place once the bread and wine have been taken to another chapel, symbolic of Jesus’s journey to the Garden on the Mount of Olives. The removal of all furnishings from the sanctuary leaves the place looking bare and empty, preparation for the blackness of Good Friday, and the emptiness of Holy Saturday. I find it a moving and sad service.

Well, last night, having stripped the sanctuary at St Ninian’s, Comely Bank I drove back home around 21:45 and we started doing much the same here. It finally began to sink in that we are moving.

I thought that I would find this move particularly difficult — and is has been on many different levels — but it occurred to me that there is something of a parallel with this period of Holy Week moving into Easter. The promise of New Life. Life will never be the same again.

In other news …

My study, wall to wall with boxes.

… now that’s not particularly conducive to any relaxing last minute work, now is it?!

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 46 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Latterly, web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall. Currently on sabbatical. I am a priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, and I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir.

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