I am now thoroughly exhausted. After being in a show (Titanic: The Musical… WOOT!) for the past 2 days, followed by a rigorous Good Friday schedule, so would you. But I wouldn’t change anything about it. At least if I’m exhausted then I know I did something.
But, even though I’m super tired and just want to go to sleep (yay for work tomorrow), I wanted to get this down because I want to remember it. For Good Friday, our eparchial youth group goes on a Plashchanystia (Holy Shroud) Hop. We’ve got about 10 Ukrainian Catholic churches in the city, so on Good Friday we make a point of getting out to as many of them as we can in order to venerate the Holy Shroud in each ‘tomb.’ At each church we do a different activity; sometimes the church’s priest talks to us, or we sing some hymns, or do the Rosary or other form of prayer, etc. I know this isn’t appealing to everyone, but I enjoy this event for a few reasons: 1. I get to see what different shrouds look like and how the ‘tombs’ are set up, which is kind of neat; 2. I get to hang out with some good friends; and 3. I always feel so peaceful after (seriously, one year as I was driving back home from this event someone hit my car with an egg and I really couldn’t be bothered to get angry, but that’s another story). Speaking about feeling peaceful specifically, I really honed in on something as we were gathered at the last church on our ‘hop.’
We weren’t the only ones there; in fact, I had never seen so many people in that church on Good Friday at that time (approximately 10:30pm). However, you wouldn’t know there was a single person there because everyone was so quiet. Actually, that’s not exactly what I mean… I knew there were other people there because I could just feel everyone’s presence when I had my eyes closed, and that to me was very powerful. Not only was there peace within me at that moment, but there was peace among all of us sitting there. No one was rushing to get out of there; everyone was just so.
The reason why this peace among the community is so staggering is because we don’t have a lot of peace in our lives, at least I know I don’t. I usually despise silence. I almost always have music on or some sort of background noise. I need the presence of other people. Maybe that’s why this silence was great for me, because I wasn’t alone in my silence. All of us were sharing in it.
Hopefully at some point I will be able to bear my own silence alone and realize that even when I’m physically by myself I’m not totally alone. But for now, communal silence feels pretty good.
God bless and have a wonderful Easter!