Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday in Glasgow

Entry for 22 April , 2011:

Good Friday and Easter Monday are “bank holidays” in Scotland and the UK, making a four-day weekend, a time for family gatherings, driving places or just hanging out. Not that many people go to church anymore, so it’s more of a secular than a religious holiday for most.

After a late night out, got of up late this morning. Brisk start to a lovely Scottish Spring day: Ran 100% of my standard canal-river kelvin 5k+ course today for the first time since my surgery last September. Time 30:26. It's taken me months to carefully work up to this, but it feels good to finally be there.

Then a quick late breakfast and a walk down Great Western Road: Trees in blossom, pink and white, just starting to leaf out. People out in droves, many in short sleeves, enjoying the sun and 15C Good Friday weather, in a festive mood, almost bemused to be out on a nice day, without work or Saturday errands.

Our destination: St Mary's 3-hr Good Friday Devotions service, filled with moving readings and sermons and powerful music. I'm left with Peter Jones' modern Hebraic-flavored version of the ancient Good Friday Reproaches ("O my people, what have I done to you? How have I hurt you?") stuck in my head. Also: Graham Maule's hymn setting of Isaiah to Burns's Ae Fond Kiss ("Who would ever have believed it?") brought tears; Cedric's sermon observations on Pontius Pilate and the muddled (mis)use of power: and Kelvin's poetic, poignant story of a sale bin spotted in Camden Market: "Gods: 3 for £5", and his invocation of the Buddha's "Life is suffering" as an appropriate commentary for Good Friday. (If you're interested, check his blog:

An emotionally draining experience, which has left me finally ready for Easter.