sleep, sleep, slumber deep
Holy Week this year is like no other I have experienced. Yes, I now live in Germany, which I suppose would change things, but not all can be directed at location. In 2008 I lived in India ... and yes, those Easter-related observances were quite different as well. But this is different from my time in Texas and different from that Indian different.
I really do understand that the Lenten season is a mental and spiritual journey, but this time around, I think that I missed it.
Even though, while in India, my friends and the culture were newer to me by several months than my familiarity with my world here, I was in an intensely Christian environment. We were all missionaries doing missionary work. To do Easter et. al. with them was natural and built into our small community.
Germany is not a Christian-hostile country, but it appears like a Christian-ambivalent country. Most of my friends (from all over the world) are religiously ambivalent, non-practicing whatevers. Some of our discussions when a few gathered for Kuchen/cake baking (and a 2 hour walk waiting for said cake to cool) was about how inconvenienced we were since everything seemed to be closed for the government holidays. And I was right there with them when we set our hopes on finding an open ice cream kiosk after our walk under the warmth of the sun. I did not go to services.
Back in Texas, I was very involved in the church, especially during Lent. Lent was always busier than Advent (leading up to Christmas). The prayer times and bible studies. (and of course Fiesta is thrown into the mix.) Oh, and the orchestra, my beloved music: the centering music at Ash Wednesday, the celebratory anthems of Palm Sunday, the heart-wrenching tones of Good Friday, and the joyous revival of life found in Easter carols. Playing those put me right there. But not this time ... none of it.
It's like I have fallen asleep and adopted the ambivalence of the world around me. A good friend asked if my faith was wavering. And no, no it's not. My answer: it's like it's waning. It's becoming devoid of passion and value.
It's this odd place I find myself this Holy Saturday, between the darkness I didn't experience of Good Friday (Karfreitag) and the joy of Easter (Ostersonntag).