Monday, April 6, 2009

My experience of Monday in Holy Week: Prayers for Peace

Today began dark, dreary, drizzly, in such sharp contrast to yesterday's gorgeous blue skies, waving palms and the colors of daffodils blooming everywhere in Charlottesville. We descend into Monday of Holy Week in the grayness of the morning showers.

At noon, eleven of us assembled in the St. Paul's nave for our Prayers for Peace. The sun worked its way inside to find us, a sunbeam here and there bursting over our heads through the clear glass of the large windows. The palms from yesterday look a little drier, but the sunlight danced across the fronds in front of the altar.

We sat in silence, though silence not exactly. A bell rang, a wooden kneeler creaked to the floor, someone cleared his throat. The building resonates with voices from many corners. I could hear conversations downstairs in the office, and someone laughing in a hallway. A few moments later,  someone sitting a few rows in front of me began to chant, his voice vibrating from the walls around us. A few more souls arrive, their feet slowly sliding across the wooden floor. We pray for peace, and there is life in these walls, and life beyond these walls. Even whispers carry across and through this sacred space.

A twelfth pilgrim arrives, then a thirteenth and a fourteenth. We were now fourteen strong, praying for the peace that so eludes the world. A few offer spoken prayers, and the words are interspersions in the silence that is not exactly silence. Then I hear geese outside. A bell rings twice. It is time for our Eucharist, and we stand together again, around the table, and remember the events of Holy Week and the Cross.

And so we will gather again, tomorrow, in the Chapel, at noon. Join us if you can.

No comments: