Christ is Risen!I put in the subject line '(yet another mass e-mail)', which I meant as a demarcation of 'not urgent at all'. But, as someone said, 'mass e-mails are no different from photocopied invitations' - it doesn't mean you care for the recipient less, it just means that you want to say the same thing to everyone.
And death is overcome,
And the gates of hades are undone;
And, no longer the slaves of sin,
but the loving servants of Him;
We are brought to Life.
With festive joy, celebrate:
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
I know, it's been a while between updates. That's partly because of the lack of time caused by Lent and uni, but in the last two weeks, it's been because of some medical issues - I've had two surgeries done. What they were is not exactly polite conversation for the dinner table, but suffice it to say that I now fear far less things. Far less.
Alas, the second surgery was to take place on Holy Tuesday, and I stayed overnight, which meant that I missed quite a few services (all the ones on Tuesday and Wednesday). But, thankfully, a bit of a liturgic shifty occured on Holy Monday when a parish celebrated its Unction (anointing) service on Monday night, instead of Wednesday. Which worked for me, obviously. I spent a lot of my free time in the hospital basically reading the services for Holy Week, from Palm Sunday evening onwards. I caught up by the time I got to the Holy Thursday evening Crucifixion service.
The rest of Holy Week was spent with a lot of time sitting down in church, and lying down at home. Went back to the hospital on Saturday, thinking there was a problem; thankfully (or otherwise!), the nature of the problem meant that the body's natural recovery process was necessarily difficult...sucks, but I felt better, knowing that at least it's going to be all back to normal soon.
As an aside, even though from the outside this Holy Week was the worst it could have been, I'm kinda inclined to think that there was a massive silver lining there. I know that this Lent was probably the worst, spiritually, that it could have been, but I feel like the events of the past week have been, well, helpful. Illness can do that, I suppose.
There were a lot of things that were done this year at one church that hadn't been done before - traditional practises with theological meaning. Some of these are just plain fun - like banging on everything on Holy Saturday morning. A lot of people commented on this - and a few important people noticed that never before has there been so many people, and so many young people, staying for the services - especially for the end of the Liturgy which, this year, happened after Communion (rather than, in previous years, attempting to get people to stay by having Communion after the dismissal).
Fantastic week, wonderful celebration. This year, without need (or even inclination) to remind myself of what we are commemorating, I felt it. Gratitude for the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, and all the events commemorated. Much joy.
This week, called Bright Week, is also (as I found out) called the Octoimera - Eighth Day. The whole week is Pascha and is outside of time, which is only fitting for the feast of feasts that commemorates God being bigger than death - or, as it turns out, time.
Spent the post-resurrection meal at my priest's house, which I was very grateful for, and the next day at his larger family's celebration; then, came home to my housemate's using the day as an excuse to have people over. Rather than make it an Easter celebration (which, truth be told, it wasn't), it was a C celebration - the idea started with chicken and chocolate cake, and went from there to include coke and a crunchy salad with carrot, celery, cos lettuce and others. Certainly brought home the idea of being outside time :)
This week is the last before my day of prac, on Friday. I have 8-9 days to do two massive assignments, neither started, totaling about 7000 words and 120%. Should be fun. Reflecting on it, a lot of it will be just inserting words - having to write a criteria sheet is actually fairly easy, and that's 800 words right there. Definitely looking forward to the end of that, of course!
I'll try not to make the next post three weeks later - but with prac, no promises!