Thursday, April 5, 2012
The dough has been punched down and cut into two good sized loaves. With any luck it will be ready by 5:30ish when I need to get over to the church and prepare for this evening's Maundy Thursday communion. About every other year I make an attempt at baking the communion bread. Things are always so busy but I like to do it. It is only once a year...right? As I make it, I am wondering if it could really be true that the last loaf of bread I baked was exactly one year ago...
Turnout is always a bit light at this service. I will defintely not need to bring both loaves. Part of it has to do with the size of the congregation. Partly it has to do with the general theology of the congregation. It also has something to do with the secular world and its demands. Still, a better word to describe worship this evening would be "intimate". Tonight we will gather together to mark the day, with the world whirling around outside getting ready for the long weekend and for Easter. In this way, I believe, we probably aren't too far from that last supper of Jesus that we will be commemorating.
The fact is, it isn't Easter yet. It is something else. It is a between time and a thoughtful time. This is true even if our thoughts tend to drift. Some folks who come will be cheerful and happy to be there one more year. After all, Holy Week is symbolic, but our lives track differently. Not everyone is heading into a Good Friday in their lives right now. Still, we have all been there. We have all suffered and experienced a loss. The cheerful ones will be present for the sad ones as they always are.
This year--mostly while kneeding--I thought of what we had been through as a church family. We have all had our own losses. We have all stumbled at some point on the journey. We will all be missing faces and voices that we will not see or hear again. Tonight the regulars will all be missing Harriett Buckingham, who recently passed away. Harriett played the piano for us. This year it will be me on mandolin and my associate, Matt, who will play the guitar. We decided to take our two usual "solo acts" and combine them for the season. There are challenges to doing this, but we are tackling them as we discover them. Still, we will meet before hand and practice one more time. We aren't Harriett, after all. We are learning--in public--and that is OK.
Maundy Thursday at Eliot will be at 7:30pm. If you are in this neck of the woods, feel free to drop by. As I said on Facebook, you can think of it as a "wine and bread tasting" with singing...and prayers. Tonight is about saying goodbye. It is about remembering. It is about being together in the dark. Resurrection comes later and will be appreciated all the more because we waited and watched.