One of the consequences of conversion, of course, was that I suddenly lost the Holy Week I had been used to for many years . . . for over thirty, in fact, I had been blessed enough to be able to go to a continuous sequence of Holy Week and Easter Week liturgies which had been thoughtfully planned, and organically developed, to preach the mysteries of the Passion and Resurrection with staggering effectiveness . . .
As you can imagine, then, I expected my first Holy Week and Triduum was going to be something of a shock to my system, and that I was going to feel myself – and perhaps even be obvious as – ‘a man from a far country’ : but it wasn’t like that at all. It was totally different, of course, from what I was used to; but the realization that (as one of Ronnie Knox’s friends once said) I was now part of the same church as Judas Iscariot was, in a strange way, very comforting, and gave a whole new dimension to all of it.
That said, perhaps I found it less of a shock because for many years I have based my Holy Week very substantially around the Office, and certain Spiritual Reading, rather than just around the public liturgy of the Triduum : and that, of course, I have been able to bring with me, and it has fitted in well in my new home.
So, in the eight days to come, I hope you’ll bear with me if I share with you some meditations and thoughts of my own, interspersed with extracts from books which are part of my Holy Week, and other odd snippets . . . not least of them being Maria Desolata (on Good Friday) and Maria Consolata (on Easter Day) which seem hardly to be known in the UK, but which I always find deeply moving.
All my Followers and Readers will be very much in my prayers throughout this coming Holy Week : and I pray that you may all share in the contemplation of Christ’s passion so as to come to rejoice fully in the glory of His Resurrection on Easter Day.