Monday, April 28, 2008

Holy Friday 2008

On Holy Friday, Dr. Tim and I helped with the teenagers' retreat. (Fr. Peter was at the retreat for the younger children.) I managed to get through my presentation of St. Kassiane pretty well, even including the difficult three-page hymn (that's a short version—long ones can run to 14 pages). My favorite presentation of all the "Personalities of Holy Week" was Dr. Tim's penultimate, personable portrayal of Jesus. (Sorry for the unintended alliteration.)

"Jesus" started by thanking all his friends and saying it was great that they said so many nice things about him. Then he asked people to stand up (meaning the youth, but all the adults participated, too), pair up, and ask one another's forgiveness, the response to which was "May God forgive us both." After this exercise, he started talking about himself, how he was there with God the Father at the beginning of the world, being present at Creation. He spoke fondly of being friends with Adam, and how they would talk together in the evenings—because he, God, had to work during the day. He talked about how he created Eve from Adam's rib—then switched immediately to his earthly ministry as Jesus Christ. He said he kept asking where his friend Adam was, and was horrified to hear that he had died. "Death? What is that?" He explained death as the spirit, the breath God had put into Adam, leaving the body. "The breath that I put there!? I did not create death. I created life!" Then he asked the people where Adam's body was, and heard them say it was under the ground. He paced agitatedly across the floor. "My friend Adam—dead. His body under the earth—I've got to go get him!" He called out the Pharisees and Scribes, excoriating them for using their authority and knowledge of the Law to separate God from His people instead of working to draw them together. Then he enacted his crucifixion, asking God the Father to forgive the people, and calling out to Adam that he was coming.

I'm afraid I don't do Dr. Tim's presentation justice—I was moved to tears, because this is so truly what the Orthodox Church teaches about the Resurrection, which one can see on the festal icon: Christ, like a super hero, his garments flowing and white, stands above the broken bonds of Hell—its gates, keys, and locks—His hands grasp the wrists of Adam and Even who are being pulled from their tombs as the crowds look on: haloed Old Testament Patriarchs on Christ's right and those not marked by haloes on His left.

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Blogger DebD said...

I loved this entry but I'm wondering where Father found time to do this during Holy Week!? LOL.

Wed Apr 30, 08:04:00 AM CDT  

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