At my current church, we used to have an associate pastor who I really liked. He was a pleasant person, but he described himself as a Lenten kind of guy. I think I can relate.
Easter’s great: Christ is risen, the core of the Christian faith. Yet, it is the period before Easter that somehow has always caused me more pleasure. Maybe it was the reflective nature, not so much the “giving up”” something, as I learned it in my childhood, but rather the taking on of something, whether it be a devotional or trying to think more of others.
Lenten music is also better than Easter music.
I found that I have agreed with George W. Bush, not once but twice this Lenten season – no, this is not an April Fools joke – and it was essentially based on him acting in what I would consider a Lenten manner.
One time as when he apologized for the dreadful conditions in parts of Walter Reed Hospital. You can see this as political expediency, and maybe it was, but I found it refreshingly different from his Decider mode.
The other time was when he participated in the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony Honoring the Tuskegee Airmen, when he essentially apologized for the indignities endured by these black fliers: “I would like to offer a gesture to help atone for all the unreturned salutes and unforgivable indignities.”
Of course, announcing my W support, in this limited context, at the Y, which was an attempt to show that even he isn’t all bad, merely helped crystalize the differences I had with another over foreign policy, which was not the intent of the comment, and I regretted the tone the conversation ended up taking..
More Lenten reflection is needed, I guess.
Meanwhile, Good Friday service did not go well for me. I sang what I could, which was probably not much above an A below middle C. But by the fifth moment in the DuBois, I felt the need to cough uncontrollably. I stifled it as much as possible, then left at the end of the movement. Since I’m near the middle of the choir loft, there’s no way to do this unobtrusively, but I went out a side door that leads to the outside, came in another door, and listened to the rest of the service.
This event was:
*depressing – you work to learn the piece then you can’t sing it
*irritating – the body fails me
I put my robe away, with about a dozen people saying, “Are you all right?” Well, apparently OK for talking, but not for singing. I left before talking to at least three old friends from my former church choir. (Sorry, Bob, Holly and Kathy.) I caught a bus home. The one good thing about is that was that I literally put out a fire someone had started in the bus kiosk.