The first Sunday after two of the parishes left the diocese, both the Diocese and the Network held services in the contested buildings, at different times. The Diocese would like to continue doing that. The Network has said, if we have to share the buildings, we’ll go elsewhere. The courts awarded temporary sole occupancy to the seceding Network parishes in the first court appearance a couple of weeks ago.
Today’s court date was to look at that again. The diocese has been holding services in neighbouring buildings, with diocesan-appointed clergy administrators presiding. There has been no response yet from the court.
I don’t know how this is going to work. Good Friday and Easter Monday are statutory holidays here – the court won’t officially open again until Tuesday. But, everyone’s expecting some kind of ruling or statement from the court, probably another temporary one, because it IS Easter weekend. Most parishes would hold a Maundy Thursday service, involving some demonstration of servanthood (footwashing isn’t big here – we’re all still in winter boots) and the stripping of the Altar. Some hold a potluck supper with the Eucharist incorporated into the meal. There’s Good Friday services, Holy Saturday Vigil, Easter morning at sunrise or later ….
So, I’m watching the diocesan website, as are many others, and I’ll post here as soon as I can after I hear something.
Today was very long. I was at one of those potluck suppers – it was lovely, and solemn and joyful all at once. I was privileged to read Matthew 26:30-46 during the Stripping of the Altar, and I cried buckets, silently, during the silent prayer time after. I love that Gospel – it’s what bound me to Jesus. After all, if Jesus can be lonely and afraid and say, “Please, let the cup pass me by …”, then my own fears and unwillingnesses shrink in my own eyes. I am much less flu-y but very tired. My alarm’s going in about 8 hours – I’m off for bed.
I live in rented quarters, and my landlady and landlord and family upstairs are orthodox Jewish. They’re just coming in, noisy, costumed and feasted, from the start of the Purim celebrations. I’d been looking forward to joining them this year – and I can’t, because it’s Good Friday. The odds against that must be staggering.
Blessings to everyone, and deep gratitude. May all possible blessings of the Triduum