At church. Middle daughter is praying in the sanctuary (known as the nave in Anglican circles, but tell this former Presbyterian that). From the end of this evening's Maundy Thursday service at 7:30pm, we sign up and take turns praying for an hour at a time. Until tomorrow at sundown. Her time is 8:30-9:30 and mine is 9:30 until 10:30.
My favorite part of the church liturgical year. Sitting in a darkened church, candles lit, an area set apart for sitting, kneeling and just praying. So powerful. And the slight scent of incense hangs in the air.
The Maundy Thursday service is amazing in itself. The altar is stripped at the end of the service, all candles, cloths, prayer books, hymnals and anything else on the altar or chancel area is taken to the sacristy. Nothing to proclaim Christ is left. Just a wooden cross draped in black. He's gone. It always makes me sad to see the altar plain and not decorated. To realize what it means. He's in the grave, and nobody knows if He'll really appear again.
I think this is the only real silence I'll have had all week. Even if I sit in a quiet room at home, my brain is thinking of what needs doing. One thing especially hard with my mom living with us is the ever present sense of being ready to do whatever needs doing. Being attentive, even when she sits quietly in her room. The thinking of being at the starting gate ready to run, wait on her, clean something, answer the door to her aide/nurse/therapist, always something. So much energy spent in anticipation, and not eager anticipation, but the anxious sort.
My shoulders are tight. And since she's lived with us, I've acquired a sore middle-of-the-back, and a sore hip, not to mention aching feet. I think it's just my body reacting to stress, and maybe the effects of moving her on the bed. My body is riddled with stress factors, running through my bloodstream. Constant fretting and anxiety. Not healthy.
So now I look forward to my hour. My intense prayer time, not interrupted by anyone or anything. All I have to do this weekend is help prepare the altar for Saturday night's service, our real Easter service complete with a banquet. Buy Easter dinner fixings. Clean the house. All this is eagerly awaited. Nothing pressing, but domestic joys. The girls have new dresses to wear, and all is well. As much as can be expected.
I'm okay with that.