Holy Week and the Triduum at St Chrysostom’s…. Fr Ian writes:
It is a pleasure each Maundy Thursday to worship with sister and brother Christians at the Armenian Church, not far from St Chrysostom’s. For several years now I have been invited to late afternoon their footwashing liturgy, (fortunately at a different time from our liturgy at St Chrysostom’s.) It is a special way to enter the Great Three Days of the Paschal Triduum.
The Armenian liturgy is ancient, in language, symbol, chant and ritual. The people are welcoming, relaxed and at home in their liturgy and church. This year I attended with a friend and it was lovely to see young Armenian girls and boys enjoying having their feet washed while parents and other members of the congregation looked on and worshipped with them.
My friend and I reflected how the Armenian people have suffered greatly through the dreadful massacres whose centenary is commemorated this year. We were thankful that they have survived and are flourishing.
Worshipping with the Armenian people helped me to recall the timelessness of the Great Three Days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter.
I also was strongly reminded of how, at in this holy season, we are united across place and time with fellow Christians in our common faith, and in our wish to enter the depths and heights of our belief.
The Armenian text above, sung during the footwashing, translates: A new mystery is revealed. God fell on His knees, and put on an apron. Lord, wash our sins with your arm and quench us with your cup.