As you all know, I’m a Christian, so today, the most solemn in the Christian Calendar I’m going to do a little reminiscing. It’s a bit different to the usual Blisse Blog fair but I hope you enjoy it all the same.
Way back when I was in college I used to go to a holy week retreat at a Catholic youth place called Dehon House. It was an amazing experience and I am glad I got to go for several years. One Image that sticks with me is of my very first year at the Easter retreat and on Easter Sunday I was in the Veneration of the Cross group.
This was all very new to me, being a baptist and having never really experienced the Catholic way of doing things before. However, what came together in the end was so touching, I still remember it clear as day now.
They had a big, wooden cross. Old wood, paint splattered, worn, a bit splintery in places and used during the passion play. (reinactment of everything that happens up to Jesus death) and once this had been used, we borrowed it.
We laid it down outside on the grass, it was a beautiful, warm spring day and when it came to veneration we got everyone to hammer a nail into the cross. to symbolise our part in the crucifixion.
I tell you, the sound of 2 or 3 people hammering nails into wood in the silence of a warm, spring day was haunting. And doing it myself was almost painful.
Then, when everyone had hammered a nail into it, we picked up the cross between the group of 6 of us and carried it to the chapel.
This thing was a good 6 foot tall and very heavy. I can still feel the wood biting into my hands and shoulder as we carried it. As we moved along in a procession we sung:
“This is the wood of the cross,
on which our redeemer hung,
come, come let us adore,
come, come let us adore the Saviour of the world.”
And we gathered in silence around the cross in the chapel, waiting for the next part of the service.
I still remember it clear as day and it is the image that is echoing around my brain today.