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I have been remiss in posting — please forgive me. I am not passed out on the floor somewhere under a mop and bucket. I’m just sluggish. Perhaps I could use an interest rate cut or something.

I have several half-composed follow-up posts on Target, bread-baking and the in-law visit — all of which were just dandy, thank you. Also on the mouse in the house, which is not so dandy. But now that we are in throes of Holy Week, those are going to have to wait until next week. At the end of work today, I will pretty much be pitching a tent at church.

I love Holy Week. And I love the services of Holy Week, especially in all their majesty with the beautiful music and liturgy at St. Paul’s, K St. Our priest likes to say that you cannot participate in the full liturgy of Holy Week (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) without it changing your life. I agree. For me, it has become like a vital annual retreat.

It’s like entering a different world, as we participate in Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. I suspect many more people in D.C. will be watching basketball than going to church this weekend. But there is nowhere I would rather be than at St. Paul’s (incidentally if you are a DC pal and would like to join me, see the list of services here. the ones in bold are the important ones. call me if you’d like a ride).

I remember one year as I was riding my bike home from Good Friday, passing all these people sitting outside at restaurant patios, and I was kind of astounded to see that the world was puttering along just like normal for everyone. It was like, “What are you doing? Do you know what is happening?!” It is probably a shadow of how people feel when they get a happy hour invite after someone they know has died or been diagnosed with an illness. Or perhaps similar to how a bride feels when she finds out — what?!! — there is a huge war protest in D.C. on her wedding day. OK, maybe not like that.

For those who are celebrating Holy Week, today is Maundy Thursday, the first day of the Triduum Sacrum, the three holy days that lead up to Easter. “Maundy” comes from the Latin “mandatum,” commandment. We remember Christ’s new commandment: “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

The priests wash 12 parishioners feet and the choir sings this beautiful hymn (which was also sung at our wedding):

UBI caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exultemus, et in ipso iucundemur.
Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.

WHERE charity and love are, God is there.
Christ’s love has gathered us into one.
Let us rejoice and be pleased in Him.
Let us fear, and let us love the living God.
And may we love each other with a sincere heart.

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