This is the most liturgically intense week of the year and it calls upon all of our senses to be alive. We can see the table set with bread and wine, tabbouleh, hummus, pita bread. We can see the wooden cross and the flickering candles. We can see the first fire of Easter, the Paschal Candle, the white sheers and altar covering. We can smell the mandarin oranges, the incense at the cross, the Easter lilies. We can hear the table talk, the Taizé music as the altar is stripped, the chanted Passion of Jesus’ last hours, the salvation stories, and finally, the Hallelujah Chorus. We can feel the water being poured on our feet, the wooden cross under our palms, the communion bread being placed into our open hands. We can taste the olives and figs, the wafer from the reserved sacrament, the wine sipped from the chalice.
These are memories from past remembrances and celebrations of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday. And this year, it will be different. But we still have our five senses, and we still have our memories, and we still have our liturgies. A wise woman recently said that liturgies shape us wherever we are. They are in our bones. Our liturgies are in our bones, muscle memory from years past, and we can enact them and let them shape us wherever we find ourselves. So, this week, pour some water and wash. Hear the Passion and bow down to venerate the cross. Light a candle as the first Light of Easter, and shout with joy, Alleluia, Christ is Risen! The Lord is Risen indeed! Alleluia! With our intention, this could be the most profound week of our lives. May it be so.