Much of today - the first day of the Triduum, the period of three days in the church year when we focus on the death and resurrection of Christ - has been spent in a fog of distraction brought on by the after-effects of yesterday's booster jag. I was actually in the supermarket, looking in amazement at the shelves of cooking oil, when I suddenly realised how rotten I felt. (For the statistically minded: Pfizer vaccine, leading to a sore arm, aches and pains and, in the middle of the afternoon, nausea.) I felt justified, therefore, in not clearing away breakfast until it was time for coffee. Himself disappeared to church to practise, and I tried to remember what it was I had to order online as well as some fair-trade rice. (I failed until I was too busy doing something else - must try again tomorrow).
After lunch it was my turn to go to church to set up the Altar of Repose for the evening's service. This involved me and Di carefully disposing the moss we collected the other day around the nave altar, relocated to the back of the church temporarily and covered in plastic to protect the wood. I scraped some thin moss off one or two older gravestones to put at the front for the ciborium to rest on and we carefully arranged eleven candles around the garden we'd created.
The evening saw us all back again, reliving the Last Supper and keeping the Maundy Watch till 10.30. The photo shows the Altar of Repose with the eleven candles guttering wildly in the draught, though the church felt very still in the darkness. Outside there had been birdsong as darkness fell, but by the time I took the photo it was totally and compellingly silent.
It's a day like none other in a week like none other; it never ceases to strike me how the world - including most of my blip circle - carries on without the slightest awareness of any of it. But that, I would say, is the existential truth at the heart of everything.