Friday, April 02, 2010
One Good Friday
And, OK, I let the old girl drag me around for part of the morning, but at noon, I gave her the slip and ducked into St. Bartholomew's for the Good Friday service.
I love "The Three Hours" Good Friday service. (Yes, it lasts three hours.) St. Bart's is dark and cool and Byzantine, so it helps shut out the sunny, crazy stuff happening outside its Park Avenue doors. I chose a pew near the front on the far left side and did my best to turn down my Type-A brain.
I cherish the readings of the seven Last Words, each given due reverence with music from the choir, a meditation by one of the clergy, prayer and silence, and a hymn. I love singing those passion hymns: "Ah, holy Jesus, how has thou offended," "Beneath the cross of Jesus," "Were you there," "My song is love unknown," "When I survey the wondrous cross," and "O sacred head, sore wounded."
After the service and the tolling of the bell, I left the dark stone church and went back out into the blinding sunlight. My old friend was waiting for me. The 3-hour darkness not forgotten, I let her spirit me through Midtown and back up to Spanish Harlem, loving the sunshine, breezes, and flowers. I considered it a promise of things to come on Sunday.
A Blessed Good Friday to all.