Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ash Wednesday

ash
the remains of my ash cross

I celebrated the U2 Eucharist last night with the good folks at the local Episcopalian church. The congregation was split between the elderly and young families. The U2 cover band lip-synced. They were raising money for a mission in Uganda. There has been a good deal of controversy over mixing high church with rock and roll. After attending, its clear the controversy really ought to be about how we can let so many people die of poverty in Africa. The priest spoke about how "eucharist" means thanksgiving, and how we should show our gratitude to God by helping those around us.

This morning I returned for the Ash Wednesday service.

I have been on a mild theater kick lately. After playing "Drama Teacher" at the local high school and chatting with El Cab about Commedia Dell Arte, I picked up a few theater books are the library and have been slowly perusing them this week. I was reading Creating a Character and the first chapter is about the "vulnerable self" and how the actor needs to know how to exploit her vulnerability, to project her broken humanity, and thus win over the hearts of the audience.

Attending the Episcopalian Ash Wednesday service was like being a part of a play. The priest and deacons all had their costumes, I was dressed in black, trying to look penitent. The altar area was like a stage. We even had a script. When I kneeled at the rail to receive the cross, the priest said, "Oh Woman, from dust you came, and to dust you shall return" I couldn't stop smiling. I got a role. I tried to mask it all the way down the aisle to my pew. I was a "Woman," I had direction, and a big black "t" on my forehead. For once, things were in black and white.

When I got home, not much was left of my cross, so I uploaded it here. El Cab said I had to wear it all day, as a "symbol of my mortification." I told him it would find a permanent home on my blog, reminding me of my vulnerability.

3 comments:

chiefbiscuit said...

Beautiful! Thank you Camille.

Camille said...

thanks, chief.

El Cab was surprised that the priest said "woman." In the Old Days, they addressed everyone as "man," when "man" meant any member of the human race and the word for a male human was "were"-- a descendant of the same indo-euro root we get the word "virile" from and, more directly, we see in "werewolf." If we went to the old Anglo-Saxon usage, it would be completely politically correct to address any communicant as "man."

Regardless, it was cool to be named "Woman" for the day.

Camille said...

FYI-- The above linguistic tangent is entirely from El Cab's brain.

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