Communications Team editor, Resurrection Receptionist, and veteran of 9 Holy Weeks at Resurrection, Meghan Robins takes a humorous, service-by-service look at how to plan ahead for Holy Week. A contract for a full-length book is pending.
1. Who will ascend God's holy mountain? You! So don't forget to bring a coat, scarf, and maybe even mittens to keep yourself warm while we wave our palms in 30-something degree weather. 2. Remember, a broken palm still counts, so don't worry if you're that person waving a crooked branch.
3. Do not get carried away by the celebratory atmostphere and shout the “A-word.” It's tempting, but remember: Lent is not over yet!
4. Take a nap today. And tomorrow. And the next day. Basically, sleep as much as you can between now and Wednesday.
1. Bring a bright cell phone. You never know if that penlight will last the whole service.
2. Wear comfy shoes. There’s a whole lot of standing goin’ on.
3. Brush up on your harmonizing skills! You’ll be singing a lot of hymns at this ancient service.
4. It’s not too late to get your Holy Week haircut. You want to look good in your Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday best.
1. Ladies, get a pedicure!
2. Don’t wear fuzzy socks. You may find half your sock in the footwashing tub if you do.
3. Wear sandals or shoes that are easily removed, so you don’t have to be that person holding up the line while you put your lace up knee-high boots back on.
4. Bring as few accoutrements as possible, so that it is easy to transition over to the procession.
5. Do bring a coat and scarf. It is March in Chicagoland and therefore the weather will be moody at best.
1. Time to break out the waterproof mascara! This service is a powerful emotional experience.
2. Stock up on tissues. They will come in handy... if not for you, then for someone sitting nearby.
3. Save your bright colors and pastels for Easter Sunday! You do not want to be that person in the bright yellow sweater amidst a sea of dark clothing.
4. Don’t forget your checkbook/wad of cash/direct deposit app! The Good Friday Gift is a wonderful chance to give to Resurrection missionaries.
5. Remember to silence your cell phone. No one wants to hear the “Harlem Shake” in the middle of the “Miserere” choir piece.
1. Don't forget: the service starts at 6:00pm this year!
2. Do bring snacks. Don’t bring Sun Chips (their bag is excessively noisy!).
3. Wear layers. While you may start out chilly from the cool of the evening, you will definitely end up quite warm from all the dancing (not to mention waving your arms like a mad person during the Holy Noise!)
4. Speaking of the Holy Noise, don’t forget deodorant.
5. Bring that bell! Cowbells are especially successful in standing out during the cacophonous Holy Noise. Car keys are a decent alternative if you do end up forgetting.
6. Practice your whistling skills. By whistling loudly during the Holy Noise, you can save your voice to actually sing on Easter Sunday.
7. Wear your dancing shoes! Even if you usually like to keep things decorous, this is one service where it is worth letting loose.
8. Remember a water bottle. You will need to re-hydrate amidst all the celebration!
9. Bring every single last one of your friends you can convince. They will thank you by the time the night is over.
10. Be ready to be amazed. Every Easter Vigil feels like the most incredible one ever, and every year it manages to be better than the last.
1. See “Easter Vigil.” The party never really stops.
2. Wear your finery! Resurrection folk like to break out hats, dresses, and (if you are Father Stewart) seersucker suits on our namesake holiday.
3. Be ready to shout the “A-word” at random times throughout the service. Lent is over!
4. Caffeine is your friend this morning. You’re going to be tired from being up until eleven at Vigil, and while the spirit is willing, the flesh is so weak.
5. Take your allergy medicine. There will be Easter lilies everywhere you turn.
6. Tell everyone you know that this service is at 935 W Union Ave, not Edman Chapel.
7. Be ready to dispense hugs. Holy Week is a long trek, and your friendly neighborhood priest/deacon/volunteer is a) exhausted and b) deserving of a hearty “thank you.”
8. Take it easy breaking your fast. It is decidedly not a good idea to break your sweets fast by consuming a whole bag of Starburst jelly beans today (just ask Steve Williamson!)
9. Rejoice! You have made it through a Resurrection Holy Week, and most likely, you’ve experienced God and the church in new and deeper ways as we walked with Christ in Jerusalem. The best part is that you can do it all again next year!
Story by Meghan Robins
Visit churchrez.org/holyweek for all the details.