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Home  >  Features  >  Journey Through Holy Week with the Moderator



Journey Through Holy Week with the Moderator

Monday April 15 2019

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Rt Rev Susan Brown, leads us on a journey of Holy Week discovery

In Dornoch, we are used to walking through Lent, Holy Week and Easter Sunday.

In Lent we meet once a week for a reflective moment which can include crafts or food, dramatic readings, music, all of which goes on to feed into the daily evening pauses in Holy Week from Monday until Friday, with nothing at all on the Saturday – then a glorious dawn (and it has been glorious to watch the sunrise over the last 20 years) followed by breakfast, then the main morning service and an evening communion Emmaus-style at night.

The rhythm is exhausting and emotionally draining, but it is also so deeply meaningful. It forms a central part of the year in the life of the congregation and those who make the commitment, rarely regret it. One older member of the congregation said she had never quite ‘got’ the Easter story until she began walking through it, step by step. Another says it’s a time of year she has come to love and to dread! Our Good Friday service ends in utter darkness and silence with the dramatic slamming of a door to mark Jesus’ body sealed in the tomb. The silence that follows is so emotionally charged.

As is the Easter Sunday evening communion when people are invited to leave their pews to stand around a table set for dinner for three, as it was in Emmaus and to share bread broken.

There is something about not just hearing a story, but seeing it unfold and then finding yourself a part of it.


Find a stone to hold and think of Jesus in the Temple.

Consider Mark 11:15-18:

On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money-changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, 'Is it not written: "My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations"? But you have made it a "den of robbers".

Think of the coins bouncing on the stones and the noise of the frantic beating of pigeon wings and the bleat of sheep as well as the shouting from the stall holders.

What injustices these days, do you think make Jesus angry?

As you hold your stone tight, pray for those who feel exploited and on the receiving end of others’ unjustified vitriol….

Pray too for decision makers: for those in authority. Ask that they may find the courage to do what is right.