It's Good Friday, the day of Christ's death and burial, so I chanted a little prayer to Jesus while I was stitching today. Do you ever sing or chant or hum a tune while you're quilting? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6ZZvboiIIM&feature=youtu.be
Tonight I'll attend the Good Friday Liturgy at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco. It is a powerful ritual enactment of Christ's burial.
The sanctuary is stripped bare and draped in black and very dark. Everyone enters and leaves in silence - no socializing or whispering. It's completely somber.
There are many scripture readings, hymns, and prayers. The highlight is the chanting of scripture that describes the trial and passion of Christ.
Everyone receives a tulip and half way through the service we follow the icon of the dead Christ. The icon is carried into a big rotunda surrounded by the icons of 100 dancing saints and placed on the communion table. One by one we bring our tulips to the table and lay it next to the icon of Jesus. Some people bow or kiss the icon as they place their tulips.
There is a blessing of incense around the table towards the icon and flowers and out to all of us. People bow to receive the blessing as the incense is shaken and expelled in their direction.
Then a sublime chanting begins and everyone prostrates - like Muslims - during parts of the chant. The movement of prostrating is very intense and humbling - up and down, up and down.
When it's all over we leave the sanctuary in silence and while exiting into the cold dark air we each receive a fresh-baked hot cross bun to take and eat - HUNGRY into the night.