Friday, March 14, 2008
Holy Week --Episco-Lutheran Style
One of the differences I find between Lutherans and Episcopalian is how we understand liturgy. For me, the Eucharistic service is a re-enactment of the Last Supper. I dive in and try to relive the experience on so many different levels. So when it comes to Holy Week I am really trying to enter into that last week of our Savior’s life.
For the Lutherans, I find that liturgy is less a re-living as an encounter with Christ. They hang on every word of the sermon as if it were Christ himself preaching. I am always startled when someone quotes me from a few weeks previous. I know I am speaking in wide-sweeping generalities here. But I do notice how much more aural—listeners, Lutherans are than Episcopalians.
This year Holy Week will be different for me. I am going to try to bring Lutherans into my experience of faith—one that requires living into the final week of Jesus. I am not sure it will work, and I may have to learn to arrange the liturgy to fit the ‘listening Lutherans.’ But I would like for them to experience the ‘eyeful’ Episcopalians because I want for them to “feel” Holy Week.
The liturgy of Holy Week invites the faithful to exercise all of their senses. It is colorful. It touches our taste, our sight, our hearing, even our touch. I don’t think I can con the Lutherans into incense, but the smell of the lilies will do something! It invites us to use less of our cognitive skills as it requires us trust our senses as did Mary Magdalen on Easter morning.
If Lutherans can appreciate their sight and Episcopalians appreciate their hearing what a wonderful place the Church might be!