Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

Today was the first day of my holiday! I was pretty excited and I showed it by sleeping in until twelve. I didn't do it intentionally, but I also didn't set my alarm clock. I also had this amazing, exciting dream. I woke up sometime during the morning (before twelve) and was lying in bed thinking about it. I remember thinking that it would be so awesome to write down in my dream journal (that I illustrate with stick figures), but when I actually got up, I couldn't remember what it was. SO frustrating. The only part I remember is that I somehow got shot in the chin and in the left cheek. Oh well, my dream journal will have to go on without it.

That afternoon, I went to a Good Friday service at Union Church, our sister church. It was a joint service with us, Community Church Hong Kong, Union Church, and German Church. I really, really liked the service. It alternated between Scripture reading and singing. Each of the songs were related to the reading. It kind of (very loosely) reminded me of the rhythm of St. Nick's Orthodox Church, the alternating between listening and participation. Especially around holidays, I really miss going to St. Nick's.

We sang one song that I had never heard before, but I thought was lovely. It's called And No Birds Sang, and it's about the actual crucifixion. We also sang two songs that I was really glad we sang, What Wondrous Love is This and O Sacred Head Now Wounded. Both are beautiful melodies with touching lyrics.

And No Birds Sang. I couldn't really find a good version of it. In fact, this was the only version I could find. So now that you kind of know the tune, you can look it up in a hymn book and play it yourself.

What Wondrous Love is This. The lyrics of this song are so simple but profound. "When I was sinking down...Christ laid aside his crown for my soul" and "And when from death I'm free I'll sing on." Just meditate on those lines for a little while. And the rest of the song, for that matter.

O Sacred Head Now Wounded. This version, the Fernando Ortega version, is one of my favorites. It really paints a picture of Christ's suffering for me. I love the last line the best: "Make me thine forever and should I fainting be, Lord let me never, never outlive my love for thee." That's truly my prayer. No matter what, keep my in your path, Lord.

I hope you all have a wonderful Good Friday too. Looking forward to Easter. I'll end with the lyrics of the most famous Orthodox Easter/Lent song.

Christ is risen from the dead,
trampling down death by death
and upon those in the tomb
bestowing life.

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed.

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