I remember one day in Greece, walking around Archodissa restaurant feeling sad or contemplative or just-not-myself, and Tassos of Thassos immediately picked up on it. "What's wrong?" he asked. "You are looking like Big Friday."
"What?" I asked, thinking of the Adams Family.
"Like Big Friday. You know, the day they kill Jesus."
In Greece, their Holy Week is called Megali Evdomada (Μεγάλη Εβδομάδα), which roughly translates to Big Week. Each day comes with the prefix of "Big." Today, therefore, is Megali Paraskevi, Big Friday. I thought of that moment this morning when I woke up.
Today, amid all the chaos of being in San Francisco, meeting the cohort of teams, meeting my own teammate for the first time, and getting geared up for this trip of ours, my favorite moment of the day was the noon Good Friday service we attended.
I met Mark, my teammate, at City Church in San Francisco, in a dark room swathed in somber silence. There were candles on the alter--7 of them--that were later extinguished one by one, representing the darkness the disciples felt the day that Jesus died.
The most beautiful part of the service, however, was the music. Few times I have been so caught in song that I couldn't sing--I wanted only to listen. There were two vocalists, a man and a woman, and the instruments were guitar, piano, violin, and cello. The stringed instruments in conjunction with the harmony of these two voices were mesmerizing. I would have bought a CD if they were offering them. It was the music that made the gospel readings sink in.
One of the meditations they read, interspersed with the gospels, said "Beauty and affliction are the only two phenomena that can pierce the heart," and this music was filled with both.
It was a much needed reprieve, to have a moment of the day to step away from the chaos and sit in stillness, remembering why this day is so significant.
The next best moment was taking my first selfie with Mark, my teammate :) Let the games begin!