Sunday, March 23, 2008

Christ is Risen

He is risen indeed.

Last night we went to hear The Crucifixion by John Stainer, an odd composition with very little melody and a lot of recitative. Three times during the hour- long performance the congregation arose to sing along, but the tune was unfamiliar and my own singing voice is so off-key that I felt self-conscious. I think others must have too because although I could see people’s mouths moving, I couldn’t hear much volume beyond the choir’s. There were two soloists with wonderful voices, a tenor and a bass. My singing with them was like my trying to play with the Boston Celtics.

We didn’t go to the sunrise service this morning although this year because Easter is so early along with the earlier time change, we would really have seen the sun rise at 7. It was too cold and windy for Bill’s lungs. We didn’t go to Easter Sunday service either. Two years ago I had to sit in the balcony in back of a mother who was letting her two boys (about eight and ten) cross from the central balcony to the left one, hanging by their hands in midair. They did go downstairs for the children’s story and Sunday school, but by that time my imagination was in full agonized throttle.

This morning I remembered one Easter outfit I had when I was fifteen. I remember it as if it were on another person, from the outside, not from the inside looking out. Perhaps there is a photo of me somewhere. I had a navy blue short coat and a yellow hat with a matching leather purse. Twenty years later after we had taken a walk, my sister-in-law’s shoes were wet. My dad went into the barn and came out with the yellow purse and tin shears and cut her new insoles. I exclaimed about how long he had kept the purse, and he said, “I knew it would come in handy some day.”

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

We went to the Good Friday service this morning. I had been asked to be one of the scripture readers of the 15th chapter of Mark, the account of the crucifixion. The service was short—just a half hour. At the end I realized that all the participants were women: the student intern who planned and conducted the service, the four scripture readers, the two soloists. The last two verses read were 40 and 41, “There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less, and of Joses, and Salome; (Who also when he was in Galilee followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.”

It was about thirty years ago that a minister pointed out to me that only Jesus’ women followers had been at the scene. There are many historical reasons for women having been shut out of the hierarchy of the church, but it still seems incomprehensible to me that that exclusion lasted so long and lingers on in the Roman Catholic Church. I have thought about this a lot, not denigrating men because I have been blessed in having been surrounded by wonderful men, father, uncles, husband, two sons. I have never been subjected to my being thought of as inferior because I am a woman. But why have so many other women?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Once More, Without Music

This has been a dreadful winter with very cold temperatures relieved only when it snows. After Bill’s hospital bout and recovery from pneumonia, cold air bothers him a lot. His COPD and his missing lung lobe probably don’t help. At the moment there is freezing rain which is supposed to change to rain when the temperature goes above zero (above 32 F). We were planning to go to the grocery store but can’t decide if we should chance it. The chief meteorologist of Canada predicts that we will have a colder and wetter than normal spring. I say to myself, Don’t complain. You could be living in Darfur. You could be suffering from some incurable painful disease. You could be out of food altogether. Etc.

I somehow have got a little ahead in my column writing, the tax stuff is with the accountant, the planned grocery foray is on hold, and I want to resume my blog. For one thing, I miss the others on my blogroll.