God is Dead Rerun
...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 8:31 AM [+]
2003. I actually do recall this Holy Friday when the sun made this dramatic and timely appearance. The hymns we hear today are really amazing and this captures a small portion of it all...though as always I offer the caveat that I can do it little justice. One must experience it and that doesn't just mean being present. Immersion is necessary I think...and I need to remind myself of that continually.
God is dead
Entering the Nave on Friday morning for the sixth hour prayers, my youngest daughter lets slip out a small gasp at the sight of Jesus hung on the cross and set before the royal doors. We hung Him there last night, I remind her.
Today He who hung the earth upon the waters is hung on the tree.
The King of Angels is decked with a crown of thorns
He who wraps the heavens in clouds is wrapped in the purple of mockery
He who freed Adam in the Jordan is slapped on the face
The Bridegroom of the Church is affixed to the cross with nails
As we enter, we approach the icon of the crucifixion and we prostrate ourselves before it. Then, we move on (awkwardly with the little ones doing the best they can to mimic our bodies' display of reverence) to stand before Jesus - bowing down, we press our lips against his nail pierced feet.
All creation was changed by fear
When it saw you hanging on the cross, O Christ
The sun was darkened, and the foundations of the earth were shaken
All things suffered with the creator of all
As we take our place I notice a bright beam of sunlight (in western washington?!?!?!?!) entering into the Church through a window in the dome. It illumines the icon of the Theotokos, which rests beside our dying God.
Today the blameless virgin saw you suspended on the cross, O Word
She mourned within herself and was sorely pierced in her heart
She groaned in agony from the depth of her soul
Though we stand outside time, the earth continues to spin and the sun moves. I watch as its light crawls across my God's outstretched arm. Jesus is now dead upon the tree. His face is illumined by the sun at the exact moment that His nails are removed. Life's funeral is about to begin.
Joseph of Arimethea took you down from the tree
The Life of all, cold in death
As our Lord is brought to the tomb, I notice the empty cross now fully bathed in the light of the sun. In Hymn we hear the voice of my son's patron Joseph:
O my beloved Jesus
A short while ago, the sun beheld you hanging on the cross...
Our God is in His tomb now, and we keep vigil...watching and waiting...