Denmark has literally shut down. People everywhere are enjoying the first rays of spring and the Easter holiday – with three full bank holidays: Thursday, Friday, and Monday. I remember some years ago I was in the States for Easter, and the only difference was that shops closed a little earlier on Easter Sunday.
It’s a little ironic. Ours is one of the most extremely secular societies when it comes to beliefs and values. On the other hand, this is one of the only remaining Christian countries which still has a State Church, officially endorsed by the constitution, the government, and the queen. I have always found this somewhat of a paradox and fundamentally odd.
It works fine, though. And the Christian holidays do give ample opportunity for reflexion, if you let yourself. Good Friday is the single most quiet day in the year, and the flags on all official buildings (and several others) are flown on half mast. In town tonight there were a small number of partygoers, sure, but for a Friday night it was conspicuously calm.
Good Friday is a day for contemplating Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. This was evident at this morning’s service at the local church. A quiet, meditative mood very much highlighted the enormity of God’s indescribable love for us.
Also setting the mood for this time was tonight’s Passion concert in a city church, featuring French classical music (choir, organ, harp). Including Fauré’s Requiem and a personal favourite: Poulenc’s Quatre motets pour un temps de penitence. A good experience.
“Deus meus, ut quid me dereliquisti?” (“My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”)