One of the things that gets me during Holy Week is that most years, I'm not really all that sure what's going to happen until it does. There's a piece of me that wants to believe that maybe this year, we can avoid the cross - maybe this year, we won't screw it up. And there's an equal part that isn't sure, after Good Friday, if Jesus will really rise this year - what if Easter just doesn't come? I'm never convinced it will happen until it does.
But after a good Easter Vigil rehearsal this afternoon and seeing some of the prep work for tomorrow morning, I'm beginning to hope again. It still feels a little bit like "just in case." There's a way in which it's a little like the waiting when someone's missing, when every day it becomes more real that they're probably dead, but you don't make it final until it's for sure - just in case she comes home tomorrow. Rehearsing the Vigil/Easter service is a little like that - like we'd better be ready just in case the tomb is empty tomorrow, rather than because we know it will be. But it begins to look as though that hope is not false.