Holy Week RP Style

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Resurrection, St Paul de Meythet Church

Resurrection, St Paul de Meythet Church, by Arcabas (Jean-Marie Pirot), 1998

This week is the Christian Holy Week. It’s the big sha-bang of all Christian festivals. We invite all who are intrigued by the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection to join us at the house and participate. You are welcome, no matter your religious background, or what you think or believe about Jesus. Just come and join, observe, experience, as you wish.

Holy Week experiences at Casa Mariposa:

Last Supper by Bohdan Piasecki

Last Supper by Bohdan Piasecki

Thursday, 6 pm
Supper

Through readings, simple chant, washing feet, and eating we’ll remember the Last Supper Jesus shared with his friends and disciples.

If you’d like to bring something consider bringing fruit, nuts, bread, cheeses, olives, or wine.

Friday, noon to 3 pm
Death

All Things Reach for Heaven by Yohah Ralph

All Things Reach for Heaven by Yohah Ralph

At noon we’ll bury the butterfly we created for the All Souls Procession last fall. This butterfly has held powerful symbolism for the Restoration Project community. It contains the 206 names of those known and unknown who died crossing the Arizona desert from Oct. 1 2009 to Sept. 30, 2010.

This Friday before Easter, from Noon to 3 pm, is the traditional time that Christians mark when Jesus hung on the cross. During this time we will take the butterfly from its supports, wash, and prepare it for burial as we remember the death of Jesus and the ongoing deaths of so many here and around the world that continue to be killed by injustice and the domination system. The outdoor burial site will become a permanent shrine for the community to pray for justice and healing.

Those who wish are invited to stay around the house and yards in silence and prayer until 3 pm.

Saturday — Sunday, 7 pm to 7 am
Life

We’ll begin with the kindling of a new fire with flint and sticks in the backyard. This fire symbolizes the light of the spirit of Christ alive and working still in the world today. We’ll keep the fire going through out the night. We’ll light candles from the fire and take them into the house and yards to illuminate the art installations, healing room, conversation room, natural egg dying station, writing area, and “cocoon womb” area. After we bless and explain each of these areas, we’ll then be free to roam and experience the installations at our own pace as we choose.

Angels inside the tomb with Jesus

Angels with Jesus inside the tomb, by William Blake, 1805

To honor and experience the day that Jesus lay dead in the tomb, the day between death and new life, participants will have the opportunity to write, paint, and interact personally with the experience of healing and transformation. The back porch will be a cocoon womb, where all are invited to meditate on the transformation of caterpillar to butterfly through music, art, video and hanging in the “cocoon” hammock on the back porch. In addition the hospitality room will be set aside as a room of healing.

As the team planning the vigil thought about what this day means we thought about the experience of transformation, of what it feels like, what it takes to move from victim to survivor, for instance, and we meditated on the ancient legend that angels tended to Jesus’ body as he lay in the tomb.

We are honored and grateful that Shirley Dunn Perry, an experienced hands-on energy worker, will be part of this evening vigil. Shirley will offer 20 minute personalized sessions with individuals. Shirley combines sound, color,  visualization, breathing exercises, and song. She also combines prayer, meditation, and play to foster and deepen the connection with the divine within. She is a registered nurse, workshop leader, writer, poet, author, and publisher of Ten Five-Minute Miracles: How to Relax. She teaches poetry and writing as a way of healing in the community. For more than 30 years her passion has been to alleviate stress by empowering others to master simple relaxation and writing techniques. Besides having an independent practice in pain and stress management, she has worked in intensive care, geriatrics, oncology, and has taught nursing. Shirley has also worked and taught at Canyon Ranch health resort in Tucson, the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, and the Curie Institute, in Paris, France.

Backyard fire

Where we'll light the fire and gather in our backyard.

At 9 pm those who wish are invited to gather around the fire for storytelling and singing. We’ll tell stories of transformation in our own life, interspersed with singing. We’ll do this intentionally for about an hour. Then disperse again to experience the installations or linger at the fire. You are invited to stay at the house in vigil all night. You can sleep at the house. Feel free to bring a sleeping bag and/ tent. We also have a few couches to curl up on.

At 5:30 am we’ll start to get up and get ready to watch the sunrise. We’ll have an opportunity to wake up and renew our commitment to life and justice through a ritual with water. For those who are Christians this is a traditional time to renew one’s baptismal promises. For those who walk other spiritual paths, the morning ritual will be a chance to symbolically wash off all that hinders us from living a life free from fear and full of love and freedom. We’ll watch the sunrise together on the front porch, and enjoy an Easter morning feast together.

One of the Restoration Project community members, Susanna, will also be attending her church’s Great Easter Vigil and feast from 11 pm until 3 am at the local Greek Orthodox church and has invited anyone who wishes to join her. She’ll be leaving from the casa at 10:30 pm if you’d like to car pool.

You are invited to come at any time from 7 pm to 7 am to participate in vigil and celebration. If you’d like to bring something festive to share for the Easter morning feast, or your own art project or vigilesque activity, feel free.

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