Holy week is taken very seriously down here. I cannot tell you what a joy it is to find a society that takes Christian truth and tradition seriously. Our first hints came with the question regarding classes during Holy week. The school is closed for Good Friday and indeed Holy Thursday and Good Friday are holidays with everything closing down for Good Friday. This means that an individual can participate in the observances and services offered by the various churches. What a joy to be in such a society where there is neither rivalry nor contest between society and people’s religious lives. This is clearly a dominantly Christian society. I have not lived in such for a very long time. This puts me in mind of the article written last week by the retiring Bishop of Rochester, England, Dr. Michael Nazir-Ali. It is worth a read. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/5109443/Ignore-our-Christian-values-and-the-nation-will-drift-apart.html
In the same week the new RC Archbishop Elect of Westminster, England had decried professional football being played on Easter Sunday. http://timescolumns.typepad.com/gledhill/2009/04/vin-nichols-kicks-some-ball.html#more
In the US we are finding that Church as secular activity compete for Sunday mornings. In the interests of diversity, pluriformity and diversity we are being asked if not told to make our Christian Faith private and not to “impose” it upon others lest they be offended. So in the US, as in Europe even more so, we are in a post-Christian country.
The greatest blessing here came this Palm Sunday. We are attending a very small mission that gets maybe thirty people a Sunday. It began last November. We spent 45 minutes singing and in procession around the streets of the area around the Church. As we passed people we waved, they waved and crossed themselves. Somehow it felt very Apostolic. We then worshiped in Church. We went forth rejoicing and will celebrate this Resurrection Sunday that Jesus is Alive, we are alive because of Him. This is the Gospel, Jesus, crucified, risen and returning we proclaim.