Living into Holy Week in The Episcopal Church is so much different than any other way I ever celebrated Easter before. For us, we do not live into the "Christ is Risen" message until tomorrow. For us, today, we are remembering Christ in the tomb, the emptiness and darkness.
On Thursday, we had Communion and foot washing to remind us of the Last Supper & the disciples learning to serve each other. As the service ended, those on the Altar Guild, who prepare the Altar every Sunday, went forward and helped the Priest strip the Altar - All of the linens, frontals, palm leaves, and reserve Sacrament left the church. (I'm afraid that the Irreverently part of my brain always thinks,"Christ has left the building.") Just as Christ went to the garden to pray and have his disciples wait with him, we took the reserve Sacrament into the choir room and placed it onto the Altar of Repose. Candles were lit, and the Vigil started. Congregants signed up for an hour time slot where they could sit in the quiet, dimly lit room with the Sacrament of Christ's body and blood and wait with Him, in memory.
On Friday, the gospel reading of The Passion, less formally than on Palm Sunday, was read at the Good Friday Service and shouts of "Crucify him!" brought sadness to every heart.
On Holy Saturday, there was a quiet, memorial type service.
And tomorrow, Easter Sunday of the Resurrection, we will proclaim "Alleluia! Christ has risen!" and we will remember our baptismal covenants that we have made, that ties us to our God.
But for today, the tomb is full. My heart is heavy. For Christ has died.