Maundy Thursday

The service was moving.

The sermon was twelve minutes on the nose, and yet still, somehow, Frank, our Primate (archbishop) still can’t preach a sermon I can follow. But I tried. And he said some good things. The newest priest on staff hasn’t figured out the acousitics of the place yet, but then neither have I. A stranger with a smile washed my feet, and I washed the feet of two other people, including a little girl who was scared. I smiled and told her it was okay, and that the water was cold, that’s all.

And the altar was stripped, and I could finally smell the incense. And a thousand other things happened, as I listened to each moment. I watched a subtle clusterfuck at the altar, and wondered if she would berate herself later. I watched my favorite verger direct the contingent of acolytes to make sure that the water pitchers at all eight stations were filled so that feet could be washed. I listened to the choir and for a moment I was in a different cathedral in different country, with little boy choristers with angelic voices who did at one point tackle me to the ground in a massive attempt to tickle me to death.

The service was moving, but when I stepped outside and down the first set of stairs to the first road and was halfway through the second set of stairs to my car I looked up and saw the moon. A beautiful, full, rising yellow moon in a hazy sky, rising over Capitol Hill. I was struck dumb, even in my silence, and I couldn’t even breathe. There were no thoughts, no emotions, no nothing – nothing but the tangible knowledge that this, this was the same moon that my Incarnate God saw.

I thought about it on the drive home, and the moon was still beautiful and quite picturesque through the trees, over the monuments, but these were just thoughts, reflections on something that had already passed. The moment of connection, of oneness, of union, as profound as it was, was brief.

And so I will sleep. My daydreams may be troubled, but who knows what my dreams will hold, and if I will remember them? Tomorrow will be another holy day filled with the prayerful act of paper-writing and attending church, except that tomorrow it is inevitable that I will be in tears by the end of it.

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