Holy Week with a baby: Maundy Thursday

1.47 First feed since midnight.

4.10 Second feed since midnight.

7.15 Good morning. I can’t tell you how much better I feel waking up and knowing there are reinforcements in the house!

10.30am I’m about to leave for church. At 12 we have got the Book Of Common Prayer communion followed by stripping the altar, where all the decorations in church are moved to the vestry for Good Friday. I’m quite looking forward to it. My usual style is to be as upbeat and bouncy as possible, but I have planned this service so that it is calm and ending in quiet. It’s important to have time to reflect on the sadness of Holy Week before the joy of Easter Day.

1.15pm I’ve arrived home from church and Soph has had a nice morning with Nathan and Mum, and she even had a nap!

The service went well. We had a lovely guest preacher from Christ Church who was fab. I used to really struggle with the BCP but today I appreciated doing something a bit different and more traditional. On the way home from the service I lay on the floor and helped tie an exhaust back onto the base of a car. All in a day’s work!

Washing stones ready for painting!

3.30pm Things are coming along nicely! With Mum’s help, we are well on the way to having the rocks painted for the family fun afternoon on Saturday and I’ve made a start on my sermon (finally!). Later on we are going to Christ Church for a chippy tea where we’ll think about Jesus’ last supper with his friends. It’s happening at 5pm, which is normally when we have tea and start to think about bath and bed, but Sophia hasn’t been sleeping great, so I’m delighted for a chance to tire her out! Fingers crossed it works!

7.30pm Well that was a fantastic evening! We sat around tables chatting and then the story of the Last Supper was told. There were candles, coins and colouring. We were invited to wash our hands in a bowl of water and then let a neighbour dry them. It was so powerful and tender to see. Nic (from Christ Church) reminded us of how on Maundy Thursday Jesus teaches us to be servants. I was so impressed with Soph at this point because even though we were at the back of the room, she was so engaged. I know she’s a baby but it looked like she was really listening! We then broke bread and shared grape juice.

Then, to make it even better, there was fish fingers, chips and bread for butties! Afterwards we went outside and played in the garden and Soph had a go on the swing. It was such a nice evening, and I’m hoping that Sophia will sleep better because of it!

I’m suddenly feeling very weary though and it’s not just because I’m not sleeping well. Every year, the Thursday is tough. The Bible tells of a beautiful meal, a powerful teaching moment for the disciples about leading with humility and never seeing yourself as being above doing the dishes, emptying the bin, polishing the shoes. The disciples are shown great love. And then what was just an undercurrent rises to the surface. Something big is about to happen. The bread is broken, the wine is poured, the money exchanges hands and the swords are drawn.

‘If you can, take it away’ Jesus prays. There is nothing cheerful here. Jesus weeps. He is arrested, abandoned and taken away. All we can do is wait, but we know what is coming, as did Jesus. The Thursday is tough.

10.08pm My sermon is written, by baby is asleep and so I’m going to do some knitting for a few minutes.

10.15pm I spoke too soon. Time for a feed! See you tomorrow.