Maundy Thursday, of course, is the night of Jesus’ betrayal by Judas, his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, his arrest and trial, the denial by Peter, and his conviction of a capital offence. But before all that, Jesus gathered the twelve in an upper room to keep Passover, and to give them the means to fortify themselves forever: Take, eat. Drink this, all of you. And know that I am with you.
Sadly, once again this year we are unable to gather on this occasion to eat and drink of the eucharistic sacrament. That time will come soon. Meanwhile, we know that our God is faithful, and is in no way dependent upon, or confined to, our ceremonies in order to be present to us. God is here. Now.
Compline is the church’s nighttime office – and it carries within its symbolism all those things that go bump in the night: darkness, fears, evil, death, the grave, rest, and – hope. We recite this office with the passion of Christ in our hearts, and the knowledge that he has gone already where all of us must one day go.
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