"looking out the door I see the rain fall upon the funeral mourners" - jeff buckley

April 10, 2009 Candace Morris 6 Comments

i have just returned from an noon service at St. Mark's Cathedral. The aim of this service was to mourn the death of christ as we are in the desolate valley of our three day journey - the valley of the shadow of death.

there was silence and harp; rosemary and petals; tears and mourning. there were only about 50 people in this huge cathedral, so it felt very solitary and somber. amidst the floods of emotion and pensive thoughts, one stayed with me.

since one of my highest aims is to leave you feeling pensive, i will divulge.

to suspend myself in the grief of christ's death for three whole days with no understanding or comfort made me feel desperate; it was breath-stealing. when my mind immediately jumped out of this boiling pot of pain, i found a nuanced form of gratitude in the risen christ. for the first time, i felt relief.

releif: when i hear of a brutal accident on 520 and joel walks into the house unscathed.

i've always imagined christ crucified and felt wretchedly humble.
i've always imagined christ risen and felt the light.
but i've never imagined him dead.

and for three whole days, his loved ones mourned and wept and screamed in despair.

the subtle stab of this sacred space kept my eyes full of cleansing water.

during the easter season, often modern christianity emphasis "he is risen" and other jocund adages, but this is the darkest hour of history, a sad, desperate, hopeless time wherein the christ child fell from grace; the darkness made complete. we are so quick to escape the treachery of the cross and jump over these three days of funeral grieving.

at the end of the service, we were encouraged to approach the layed down cross, to touch it and encounter it in any way we desired. there was water, herbs, bits of cloth, and petals with which to adorn his grave. oh the waves of cleansing and meaningful grief that came upon me...

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

I said to my soul - T.S. Eliot "The Four Quartets," from "East Coker"

because of this conquering death, there is much life left.
much life indeed, loved ones.
but life cannot be lived until we grieve.
and for today, he is dead and i am undone.


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