The Figure at night ...
Most of the liturgy of Holy Week takes place at night. The figure of the 'Outraged Christ' was very simply lit after dark but even this brought a new dimension to this remarkable sculpture, glimpsed inadequately in the not very good views below.
The extraordinary shadow of the figure high above it on the south wall of the church seemed about to leap up and soar heavenwards. It was a very extraordinary sight!
In other places there were hands that touched - the shadows of each of the hands of the crucified Christ seem to be touched and upheld by each of the Angels on either side (the two 'Earth Angels') on the spandrels above. Both had come from the same mind of Charles Lutyens but decades apart, and here they found each other on this Week of weeks. There was a very special quality to those dark nights in the church.
Prayer Around the Cross
In the ecumenical Community of Taizé, in France, the simple devotion of 'Prayer around the Cross' began many years ago. It is a very simple devotion with a large Cross laid in the midst of a church and people gathering around it, kneeling or seated and laying their burdens, their joys, their hopes and prayers upon the Cross, either literally by kneeling and laying their heads on the Cross, or by intention.
For Fr. Duncan Taizé has been woven into his life since the early days of his ministry and he still goes there every year for a week of silent retreat. When he introduced Prayer around the Cross into the Lenten devotions, and also in Holy Week, a number of people have found the simplicity, the singing of songs from Taizé and the profound prayerful silence very helpfully, with record numbers in 2012.
Again, to lay the Cross in our midst at the foot of the 'Outraged Christ' proved to be significant and helpful on the Wednesday and Thursday in Holy Week.
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