We Christians are coming down the home stretch. Tonight was the Easter Vigil. What a different atmosphere! Even when we were sitting in darkness, there was almost a festival flavor in the church. It was very full. And there were 5 baptisms tonight, three of them with babies, so lots of kids and parents and relatives milling around. It is hard to be serious with a bunch of cooing infants all over the place.
Yesterday, at the Good Friday service, one of the Sunday school teachers invited me to sit with her. I (gracefully, I think) declined. I wanted to be alone and I didn't want to make small talk. Tonight, on the other hand, another young woman asked me to join her and I agreed. And yes, she chatted there in the dark until the service began. But it was different somehow. I told Nguyen that I want to grieve alone, but celebrate together. Actually, I want to grieve with others too... just not having to talk during it. I just don't want to talk.
This whole Holy Week has been such a different experience than when I went to an Anglo Catholic church. This is reverent, indeed. But it feels much less formal. More natural, even as it sticks to the liturgy. I can't explain it.
As I am kind of a 'smells and bells' hound, I was wondering if the church services would have the same effect on me. Thursday and Friday certainly did. But tonight was very different. It really felt exhuberant. It was, without a doubt, a celebration. I liked it.
Christ is risen.