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  • Holy Saturday

    Altars in cathedrals laid bare

    Tabernacles flung wide and empty

    No Mass spoken

    We must enter the emptiness


    Must ache

    And ache

    And ache...


    Must weep

    If we dare

    If we will

    If we can...


    Must unknow what we think we know

    Must forget what we have been told before

    Must feel the pain of lost hope

    Must ache with the guilt of words spoken or unspoken

    Must wish for one more chance to express our love


    Must feel,

    Really feel,



    With Mary

    With the Beloved Disicple

    With Peter

    With Judas

    With those whose names we will never know and whose stories will never be told...


    Holy Saturday





  • I Thirst - A Reflection

    So, my small contribution to this afternoon's service was this:

    I Thirst

    Jesus, knowing that all was now complete said, in order to fulfil the scripture, ‘I Thirst’


    Can we, in our imagination stand alongside Mary, at the foot of the cross, looking up at her son, unable to reach out and comfort him in his suffering…


    He is exhausted, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually…

    Dehydrated by blood loss and the exertion of carrying the cross out of the city and up the hill…

    His mouth and throat dry, incapable of forming spittle, he peels his tongue free from his teeth and utters the words: I thirst.

    Of course he does.  Who wouldn’t?


    Perhaps he drifts in and out of consciousness; maybe there are dreams or hallucinations… I wonder: does he recall – or dream about - another day when he experienced thirst and had no means to obtain refreshment?

    Another day when, followers having gone to a nearby town to buy provisions, he sat alone, and strangely powerless beside a well, unable to draw water because he had no bucket…

    In the heat of the day, his mouth dry and sticky…


    A woman approached, and he asked, “will you give me a drink”

    And the barrier between men and woman crumbled to dust…


    She said, “But you are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan”

    And the barrier between races and nations crumbled to dust…


    He said, “Go and fetch your husband”; She said, “I have no husband”

    And the stigma of divorce or widowhood, indeed of all martial status or none, crumbled to dust…


    She said, “I see you are a prophet… and when Messiah comes he will explain all ”

    He said, “I am he”

    And the barrier between earth and heaven, time and eternity crumbled to dust…


    And out of the dryness tiny bubbles of water began to emerge

    And the bubbles became a trickle,

    And the trickle became a fountain

    And the woman and the man danced together in the living water…


    Waking, regaining consciousness, emerging from a reverie,

    A thirsty, dying man, hung on a cross, opens his mouth to speak

    And the barrier between ‘now’ and ‘not yet’ crumbled to dust…


    Yet still his cry is heard, echoing through history: “I thirst.” 

  • Stations of the Cross

    I am home, and thawing out, after a very wordy Good Friday vigil that, in my opinion, attempted too much and didn't leave enough space for silence.  I am sure some folk loved it, it just wasn't for me.

    There were some really thoughtful reflections, for which I was grateful, is it 'ironic' that they were offered by lay women? Or is it, in fact, just the way of things?  Thank you I and A.

    Right at the end, the person leading decided to take us on a canter through the Stations of the Cross, stating that there are twelve... erm, nope, there are fourteen (just as a full Tenebrae has 14 candles).

    So, just in case you wondered they are...


    1. Pilate condemns Jesus to die
    2. Jesus accepts his cross
    3. Jesus falls for the first time
    4. Jesus meets his mother, Mary
    5. Simon helps carry the cross
    6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
    7. Jesus falls for the second time
    8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
    9. Jesus falls for the third time
    10. Jesus is stripped of his clothes
    11. Jesus is nailed to the cross
    12. Jesus dies on the cross
    13. Jesus is taken down from the cross
    14. Jesus is placed in the tomb


    1. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
    2. Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested
    3. Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin
    4. Jesus is denied by Peter
    5. Jesus is judged by Pilate
    6. Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns
    7. Jesus takes up his cross
    8. Jesus is helped by Simon of Cyrene to carry his cross;
    9. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem;
    10. Jesus is crucified
    11. Jesus promises his kingdom to the re[pentant thief
    12. Jesus entrusts Mary and John to each other;
    13. Jesus dies on the cross; and
    14. Jesus is laid in the tomb.
  • Who washed up after the Last Supper? (A happy reflection)

    Last evening was absolutely wonderful.  Thirteen of us gathered around my kitchen table sharing food, friendship, story and song.  Seven British (six Scots, one English). Six Iranians. Food from Britain and the Middle East (and, strictly speaking, beyond). Conversations that explored deeply church customs and scriptural record.

    As my guests, as requested, left in silence, one of them, B, aged 8, turned to me, smiled and said, "thank you for a great evening".

    Reward enough, were any needed.

    As I cleared away left-over food (most to the fridge and freezer, a small amount straight to the bin), switched on the dishwasher, stacked the remaining crocks to wash this morning, stripped the table and returned chairs to their rightful homes, I smiled to myself and wondered, 'who washed up after the Last Supper?'

    Given it was a guest room, it seems quite likely that it was the home owner, or failing that some of the women who had followed the Jesus entourage... we don't know who else, apart from the thirteen, was there, but almost certainly at least one woman to light the candles, and servants to carry in the meal.

    Whoever it was, they had no idea what was going on outside. They may - or may not - have been privvy to what had taken place, may or may not have noticed Judas slip away early, or heard Jesus speak strange, new words.  They simply gathered platters and cups, cleared away scraps, swept the floor and, when all was done, took their rest.

    I am glad that I have had the space and time to deal with the mundane clearing up after the feast (a great evening!) not knowing what my guests went on to do, because it takes me to a place of unknowing.  It slows down the relentless march toward Calvary, denies me insights to the Sanhedrin or Pilate's court, and leaves me suitably unprepared for what today will bring.


    I am grateful to E, A, A, E, B & B who have helped me see with new eyes what it is we are remembering. 

    And I am grateful to A, B, M, J, A & W who shared their insights, love and faith with our new friends.


    I tried to think of a good sentence to close this post, and I couldn't, so, as at the end of yesterday's meal, we leave in silence.....................................

  • Passing muster...

    Sasha inspecting the table ahead of this evening's meal.