it was a little drizzly this morning, and i overslept. I awoke 7 minutes before the stages of the cross were to begin at 10 AM. Last night was a daze for me as I am sure it was for the disciples, trying to stay up, not sure if I could fall asleep, and not remembering when i did fall. the stations of the cross are tragic. In Latin, the stages, called Via Dolorosa, are our journey with Christ from condemnation, through the torture, to the tomb. It is like the trail of tears for the Cherokee. How is it that the Empire is making us to walk these sorrowing steps?
The people gather together, and there is only the path.
each stage of the cross in camden is a place where somebody has been murdered. i carried my drumming somber heartbeat. as we journeyed toward the 11th stage i saw a 14 year old girl that worked with me during the summer. when we arrived to the 11th stage, where "His Clothes are Stripped From Him," the young girl listened to the priest's words of prayer for the young man that had been murdered there on Winslow street. She looked at me and said, "Mook was my cousin."
We laid body of Christ into the tomb of Sacred Heart's sanctuary, and at 3 pm we processed to kiss his feet. The holyeucharist is moved into our tabernacle during the Maundy Thursday service, processed through the garden with the 4 lit red tablernacle torches, a remnant from when the priests carried the tabernacle for 40 hours .
The liturgy ladies at Sacred Heart tell me you can't buy the red tabernacle candles anywhere, anymore. They are a relic, like saint bones. We remember the tabernacle tent's 4 corners, now as our 4 lit red tabernacle candles, surrounding the holyeucharist leaving the last supper with his friends, betrayal, and journeying through the garden to be placed onto the Alter of Repose.
Jesus dies and we process to the front alter to kiss his feet.
A few years ago on Maundy Thursday I was wondering around in an abandoned lot behind an abandoned bar, i had smelled the smell of burning poison, and followed it to see a rug set aflame against the back of this bar. I called the fire company. The following day (which was good Friday) I was checking out that abandoned lot and I stepped on a nail. At 3 PM I walked to kiss the feet of Jesus on the cross, and felt with my own pain the nail driven through my own foot. I always remember the pain of a nail in my foot on Good Friday as we kiss the feet of Jesus.
And now 3 or 4 years later that old abandoned bar is torn down, and in its place rises the steel for the only theater that is currently being built in America, like the planting of basil seeds.
But for now, all the candles have gone out, all the linens removed, and the flowers taken from our Passover and lain beside the tomb of Jesus, king of the Jews.