Last evening, after washing feet, stripping the altar, and placing the sacrament upon the altar of repose here at St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem, we processed in silence 3 kilometers up the hill to the Garden of Gethsemane. There, we stood in silent meditation under a full moon overlooking the olive trees…we prayed…we sang Taize chants and other hymns. Truly, the holiest “holy Thursday” I have ever experienced.
This morning (Good Friday) at 6 a.m. the congregation processed out of the gates of St. George’s College, through the streets to the Old City of Jerusalem, and walked the Way of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa itself. Again, prayers, contemporary meditations about the suffering of God’s people in all the world, and hymns sung walking through the ancient narrow streets near where “it all happened.” Some people joined us in devotion…a few spat in the street as we passed by…most ignored us — just as they would have Jesus all those years ago.
Our final devotions were held just outside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. To share in these devotions with these people in the “Land of the Holy One” is an enormous blessing to me…and to all who are here!