In my first Holy Week as a priest, I will be leading nearly a dozen services this week, and will be presiding at three Good Friday Services in which we will be doing the Passion. I have several plans for the week in terms of reading and watching ...
First, I am reading the Passion Gospel readings from all four canonical gospels, good to start there, (even if some people think we Episcopalians don't care about Holy Scripture ... come on, we love the Bible!!).
I am re-reading parts of Rowan Williams' Christ on Trial: How the Gospel Unsettles our Judgement which I have read several times (and wrote about in my master's thesis) and plan to re-read parts of his Resurrection: Interpreting the Easter Gospel, but only as early as Saturday.
In addition, I plan to watch three movies this week, first, I am going to watch Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ," which I have never actually seen in totality but am going to hunker down and watch it. Many of my students here at St. Catherine's have mentioned it, as well as students at Episcopal Academy where I used to teach. I guess I need to see the actual thing, and someone gave me a copy of the movie, so I don't even need to use up a Netflix rental for it. Secondly, I will watch "The Last Temptation of Christ," which I have seen several times and was reminded of David Bowie playing Pilate by a friend on Facebook ... that is a thought-provoking film, and well-worth some time.
Thirdly, I am going to watch "Monty Python's Life of Brian," which is a nearly-annual ritual for me, alongside the wonderful liturgies of Holy Week. Monty Python does it all very well.
I am reflecting upon those who do take up the cross in their lives in small and large ways to serve others, to speak the truth, and some of whom "lay down their lives for their friends." Figures such as Romero, Bonhoeffer, Gandhi, MLK Jr, and others come to mind. Also, I am particularly aware of those in Tibet right now who are speaking out and protesting, and who may face imprisonment, torture and death for these actions.
I pray for the people of Tibet, and for all those who are caught up in the repression of Tibet!
What about you, how are you experiencing Holy Week? Any plans?