Holy week is finally here! I am so excited I just cannot contain it! My first Holy week at an Orthodox Church. Tuesday night (Wednesday morning) was my first experience attending Bridegroom Matins. I had no idea what to expect. Actually that isn’t true. I am very familiar with Western Christianity, and the richness within her. With Ash Wednesday kicking off Lent. To powerful Holy Week services.
Somehow I had it in my mind that things were not so with the Eastern Orthodox. Sure Pascha is wonderful. That’s just it. You always hear about Pascha, but rarely hear about the buildup before Pascha.
Needless to say Tuesday night I was not disappointed. The liturgy was beautiful. The “theme” if you will was thought provoking. The comparison was with the harlot who washed the feet of Jesus and Judas the betrayer.
An all around unworthiness swept over me. It was not something I would consider negative. I would say it was a realization of the destructive nature of sin. Not just sin generally, but my own personal sin. Like the harlot we take responsibility for our sin. We acknowledge our place, and cry out for mercy!
Likewise we see this same story in the publican and the publican and the pharisee. Sometimes I liken myself to the woman at the feet of Jesus. Crying and offering sacrifice (myrrh). Other times I am self righteous and like Judas I sell Jesus out for a multitude of sins.
Today is good friday, and as I type we are ever slowly marching towards 3 o’clock. I was unable to make any other services this week. Wednesdays Bridegroom Matins still echo through me. I anxiously wait for Pascha. Still I do not want to rush through this time. As we enter into the darkness of the death of our Christ.