Holy Week 2023: Good Friday

6.10am She’s up! It could be worse, I supposed.

8am When I checked my emails before bed last night, I found this: I’m going to bring a submarine roll with brie and grapes. Would you like me to do one for you?

How lovely is that?!

9.20am Soph and I are just about ready to go to church for the service at 10, followed by the Walk of Witness at 11.15am. Nathan is off at St Giles, and all I had left to do was to get Sophia and her pram into my car. Then I looked in the boot and found 150 hotdogs and 150 bread rolls! Doh!

9.45am We arrived at church with the bread and tins piled on the backseat. A very kind person must have noticed that I was a bit frazzled so she made me a cup of tea.

Service ready: Passion reading, Palm Cross and Ritz crackers with cheese.

10.50am Sophia’s commentary on the passion reading this morning was interesting. She said ‘no, no, no’ as Peter denied Jesus three times. That’s pretty spot on, I think. Less so was ‘no no’ in response to the words ‘let us pray’…

She also managed to stand on the step at the lectern, peered through at everybody, and said,’Haha!’. Then she got blue pen all over her face, I tried to rub it off, and it looked like she’d got a big bruise on her forehead. She also spilt the ritz crackers on the floor more than once.

11.10am We’ve gathered in Crosby for a walk of witness – Sophia is contained in her pram. Five churches take it in turns to host this service and this year, my first year, it happens to be us! I have been quite nervous, I have to say.

Walk of witness – photo by David.

12.20pm With the help of the lovely sunshine, some excellent tech-y people (see photo by David at the top) and some nice poems I found, it went well. After tea and hot cross buns at St Luke’s church (fetched for me by a very kind friend who noticed I had my hands full), we’re back at ASSF and Sophia is enjoying playing in the orchard in the sunshine. Polly will pick her up soon, and I’ll get organised for the hour at the cross at 2pm.

1.50pm The lunch of brie and grape sandwich was delicious! And I’m all ready for the next service. We’re having 3 reflections and space for people to sit with God, making use of prayer stations if they want to.

One of the prayer stations. Praying using bread and vinegar.

3.40pm I’m just about to head home. Nathan and I will shortly go to Warrington to have tea and take Sophia home.

7.30pm And we’re back. It’s been a long and lovely day! Sophia is just having some time in her car with her tubbies before bed.

9.10pm Well, that was fun – not! Little girl has had lots of fun today and cried for an hour after her bath. Overtired. Eventually, she lay down and, thank God, she is now sound asleep.

10.40pm Well that’s Good Friday done. It’s not nice, Good Friday, despite the name. My instinct in all church things is to make it accessible and palatable. But you can’t dumb down or sugar coat Good Friday. It’s grim. It’s dark. It’s the very worst of us all. I know sometimes people don’t like to engage with Good Friday. I understand, in a way. But I think the brightness of what is to come can only be truly appreciated by sitting in the darkness that is today.

Today, the body is in the tomb. Today, the tomb is sealed. Today, the disciples have fled. Today, the sun failed as God’s son was nailed to a cross. Today, it is dark.

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