Vespers of Good Friday

by , under church, services

Time: 1:05 Total: 5:35 Grand total: 9:30
Congregation: about 30
Crew: Altar: Fr T, both hypodiakons Choir: 3 sopranos, 2 altos, 2 basses (this is actually the whole choir in its current state except Trainee Tenor and Incipient Alto, who came in late and didn’t join the singing)

I’ve never realised until now that Fr T repeatedly censes the epitaph when it’s still lying on the altar, but now I saw a hypodiakon come out through the side door, stand in front of the Royal Doors with the candle, and go back into the altar by the other side door. Of course, only deacons-and-up get to stand in the space between the altar and the Royal Doors, so a hypodiakon or acolyte has to go round the long way.

Also, it only registered when I’d already stepped into the middle of the church with the book that when you start on the readings for this service, you have to read everything, right until the sung Alleluia verses, without pause. I don’t mind reading everything, and I do like the sung Alleluia verses! They were “my thing” when I still thought they were idiomela instead of being in the ordinary first tone which we sing roughly one Sunday out of eight anyway, that is, before we started to use znamenny music. But we didn’t arrange this one, I just picked up the book and took my place with it and everybody seemed to think it’s normal. (It figures, sort of; the other sung-verses piece is tonight’s prophecy of Ezekiel and I gave that to a choirmate who I’d first thought wouldn’t be there, but she is after all and it’s her turn.)

There’s always one moment in Holy Week when I can’t help crying, and often can’t stop crying for a while, but why did it have to be in the middle of the readings, at the joyful ending of the Book of Job?

I wavered for quite some time between going downstairs for mushroom soup or upstairs for peace and quiet, then realised that I was knackered and didn’t want to be social so I opted for peace and quiet (and chickpea soup). There’ll be quite enough time to be social.

And I might just take the 5-6 hour of reading in the night, if it isn’t gone before the end of tonight’s service. (I could have 3-4 or 4-5, but I don’t think that’s wise: getting up early isn’t much of a problem but I’m too old for a broken night.) [ETA: Tertia and I saw the three hours still open and decided to split them between us, she 3-4:30 and I 4:30-6. I can catch up on sleep some other time. If I’m going to get up at 4:45 I might as well make it 4:15; it’s not as if I have a 20-minute bike ride, though I do miss the ride back: go to church in the dark and back home when it’s light and all the birds are singing!]