Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday - a day of hymns?

:sv:Simon Vouet - "Korsfästelsen" (1...Image via Wikipedia

Good Friday was an odd day for me. The church service focused my sadness at thoughts of Jesus' betrayal, abandonment, torturous crucifixion and death and yet, even as I was reminded of those awful events, I was relieved and comforted internally knowing the end of the story and looking forward to the hallelujahs of Easter.

Not having heard any hymns this week - certainly no resurrection hymns and attending a non-music service today, I have been surprised to find myself absent-mindedly flipping back and forth, accompanied by my humming, to one or the other of these two hymns - a favorite old-time spiritual, "Were you there when they crucified my Lord?" and the joyous music of Easter morn - "He is Risen."

As I said, I have not heard these melodies at home, in church, or even in a far off musical rehearsel somewhere - nothing to prompt my internal choir issuing forth; but I believe my subconscious decided to wage a little internal battle with whether the theme of these waning Lenten days is death or resurrection. Death is the melancholy dirge (in an ordinary Good Friday service with music) of the cross being carried into a darkened church, oftentimes the "Were you there?" hymn. "He is Risen" is the glorious music of Easter morn.

Whatever the reason for my melodic inclinations during our drive home from church today or on my knees digging in the garden this afternoon, I found that my Lenten devotions have served me well these past few weeks - I have recalled over and over the story of Jesus' life, his message to humankind then, and the message to humankind today. I'm comforted and glad to know that Easter morning is ever closer at the end of this Good Friday.
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