On Tuesday of this week, Mother Margaret, Father James, and I recorded the next set of morning prayers that we will post on bbtsvirtual.org, each of us in black cassock and assuming either the officiant or the reader’s role. The lectionary for morning prayer, of course, follows the liturgical year, and we began recording with prayers for Holy Saturday, the darkest of days in the Christian year, following its preceding neighbor, Good Friday. The prayers and the readings are grim: Jesus has been crucified and buried, and his followers are reeling and afraid.
But the second day we recorded for morning prayer was Easter Monday, and the world changed in an instant. We read the word “Alleluia,” the prayers were exuberant, and the readings were readings of resurrection, stories of confusion that leads to unbridled joy.
And without realizing it, I smiled.
The wonderful thing about Lent, sisters and brothers, is that it is temporary, meant to prepare us for the joy that we will experience at Easter. The darkness is not permanent, and it yields to light. It always yields to the light of the Resurrection, giving way to hope out of despair.
This Easter, after we walk the necessary and excruciating reality of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, do yourself a favor and read some very particular scripture. Even if you’re not much of a bible reader, read each gospel’s resurrection story (read in order: MK 16, MT 28, LK 24, JN 20). Notice where the narratives differ, notice the similarities, notice where fear is overcome by joy, and, most of all, find yourself, as I was, overcome by joy and light after a somber Lent. And finally, exclaiming the light that cannot stay hid, say Alleluia, because the Lord is risen indeed!