Holy Week starts with an explosion of welcome, a celebration of kingship. And then it gets grimmer and grimmer, the shadow of the cross stretching long over the week. Maundy Thursday, the joy of sharing fellowship one with another, but followed by the fear, darkness and desolation of the Garden and the vigil. Good Friday is the dark day, full of pain and grief and suffering, horror and disbelief. They crucified him. We crucified him. I crucified him. And now he's dead, buried; the world is empty and silent and alone, hollow inside. It's cold and without mercy or pity. It hurts - a waiting time.
But today - it explodes. A return of joy. A return of love. A return to love. Easter. Alleluia. He is Risen!
I love that real progression, and I love that the Anglican Church lets us travel through all the phases of Easter; to feel it. To be part of it. To journey through it, to experience it. It is real, made more real by the fact we don't hurry through to Easter Day - we allow the wait, the time of death in all its starkness. And only because of that can we experience the fullness of Easter's light.