Here I was, a young boy starting the week in eager anticipation of the week ahead. This week gave us a mini holiday of sorts, no wonder it was called the ‘HOLY’ week (We called everyday holy, holy Monday-Thursday). True to its name, the week would flash by and leave you wondering why you hadn’t felt as tired as you normally would, as everyone in the Catholic setting would have that unexplainable joy for the festivities ahead.
Thursday was the day it all began, HOLY THURSDAY, a day when Jesus has his last supper with his disciples and washed their feet. I must admit, the Catholic Church’s rendition of this day is spot on. Imagine having a priest physically wash your feet, your spiritual leader, a man you often met and talked to with uttermost humility as he was God’s servant planted in our midst. PS: I was an alter server from a young age but with time, this season grew to be one of the fondest memories I have of the Catholic Church, the rest not so much.
The mass: If you had been attending mass you’d definitely notice the difference, Priests clad in purple cassocks and church attendance was quite high for a week day. The hymns were often sung in a melodious tune and though some would put you in a somber mood one would not fail to appreciate the harmonies. The INCENCE often hit your nostrils, entered your system, and gave you a surreal experience of being in God’s throne room experiencing what Prophet Isaiah experienced. This set the tone for the entire week till Easter when we would rejoice again at Jesus’ Resurrection.
Many of these hymns still capture me; one I will always remember was singing the hymn “Were you there” covered in a cloud of incense. The questions asked in this hymn often hit me, asking “Were you there when they crucified my Lord, Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree…” hence forcing me to paint a picture of the crucifixion even though I wasn’t there physically.
I won’t claim to still be a fervent attendee of these services but will surely make time and do so one day, just to bring back the memories, and enjoy the songs. These experiences were what introduced me to experiencing spirituality.
With that, have a lovely Holy week and A happy Easter to you.