Peace and Solemnity

Holy Week is a very special time, when all the services are quiet and thoughtful (my favourite sort). Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday was the wonderful office of Compline (said, apart from the hymn) with Homily (theme this year: Jesus’ feet). After the silence, I always love the triumphant return of the Gloria on Maundy Thursday (Thorne Mass) and the sung ‘I give you a new commandment’ (Shephard).

For the first time in many years, I was able to go to the Good Friday Stations of the Cross (it usually clashes with choir practice) – a very moving and solemn occasion, more popular than I remember it from the past. Then the Final Hour, long readings punctuated by prayers and silence. ‘Oh Saviour of the World’ (Goss) and the hymn ‘O Sacred Head’ seemed particularly fitting in this context. We departed quietly and ‘in confusion’ – which in the Anglican church translates into ‘form an orderly queue’, and home, in order to listen to passiontide music on CD, for the rest of the afternoon.