Saturday, March 30, 2013

Poem for the Passage between Good Friday and Easter

We are deep into the liturgical time period of Holy Triduum, or The Three Days, which begins with Maundy Thursday night services and lasts until Easter morning. Some churches will hold an Easter vigil for all of today and through the night. Some will do a shorter version. Some churches depart in silence on Good Friday night and return again on Easter (not counting the gatherings for rehearsals, decorating, cleaning, and food prep that may be happening today).

My church will not be holding an Easter vigil, and truth be told, I'm both glad and wistful. I'm feeling a bit weary, so I'm glad not to be reporting to church today. But I do feel like we're missing an opportunity.  I've never been part of a church that holds an Easter vigil, so the poem below is based on what I think could happen.

For those of you who want Bible readings for today, go here and scroll down. For those of you in the mood for a poem, here's one I wrote years ago. It appears for the first time here.


We thought we had you safely buried,
or at least confined to little cages
where we could consider you contained.

“God is dead,” Nietzche declared,
and we all nailed shut the coffin.

So now this Easter Eve,
we spend the night awakening to the sound of knocking.
Doorbells ring across the nocturnal
landscape, but no one stands
at the portal.

No one but a shivering mortal
with the sound of angels in her ears,
the urgings of mystics at her back.
She stretches out her hands to sunrise.


Kathleen said...

Oh, I love the echoing sound of the knocking and the doorbells. And "portal" and "mortal." Lovely poem. Thank you.

Kristin said...

Thanks so much. I haven't always been sure that I liked this poem, so it's good to hear what others like!