Our Good Friday Passion Service ended about an hour ago. It was marked by solemn, beautiful silence and reverence. Not exactly a full house, but our English celebrations often aren't in my mostly Spanish-speaking parish. But the community gathered there to hear the Passion and venerate the Cross was just enough. Everyone who was meant to be there was.
During the Veneration of the Cross, I watched as Father, one of our deacons-in-training and the two Eucharistic Ministers carefully raised the cross to a position where most of us could reach it, nearly upright. I came forward, gave the cross a bit of an embrace before I kissed it. Then I wound my way back to my seat.
As I looked up, I saw her. One of our parishioners has severe disabilities that keep her confined to a motorized wheelchair. She inched her way forward in the line, pulled her chair up next to the cross, but was still unable to reach it. As she started to struggle to her feet, our pastor and one of the ministers instantly, as if synchronized, reached out and supported her by the arms, pulling her up so she could kiss the wood of the cross. As she sat back down and shifted her chair to move away, I found myself in tears.
We each come as we are to the cross. When we do it as a community, when we help one another, it speaks of the wondrous love of God who came among us to suffer and die on that Cross. Tonight I have another Triduum snapshot to add to my memory scrapbook.