I was the rector at four parishes in the episcopal church between July 1976 and June 2006. That means that I fretted and fussed about the services for thirty maundy thursdays, thirty good fridays, and thirty easter days.
It is good that I fretted and fussed, for my goal was to help enable the very best which was possible in liturgy, music and preaching, in four very different parishes.
I wanted the very best in liturgy, music and preaching.
I am not so sure that I wanted the very best for G-d’s people who worshipped in those congregations.
I wonder if I was so concerned with “getting things right” that I lost sight as to the reasons for getting it right – i.e. the praise of G-d and the edification (building up in faith) of G-d’s beloved people in those congregations.
My questions must await the judgement of G-d.
Now, in retirement, I’ve had five maundy thursdays, good fridays and easter days as a retiree.
Someone else had to fret and fuss about these services.
With that in mind I was at my parish for the simpler services of the season: - 10:00 a.m. on maundy thursday (at which I preached), 7:00 a.m on good friday, and 7:45 a.m. this morning (easter day).
Not everything was to my liking, but that did not matter. My job was to relax and pray.
I was able to do that (though not perfectly!)
My beloved Rector will retire on May 15th. He is a good and holy man.
He is also as much a fretter and fusser as I ever was!
I pray that within a year or two he will be able to simply relax and pray on our holy days. It’s been good for me!