The proclamation today of Jesus’s crucifixion reminds us that this solemnity of Christ as King of the Universe is not what one imagines is appropriate for royalty. Here, we have no trumpet blasts, vestments of gold, places of honor, or sublime choirs. We have instead a retinue of criminals flanking our King upon a cross, a plea not for revenge but for mercy, and a promise not of wealth but of hope. In these simple acts, Jesus revealed the divine glory of being fully human.
How do we temper then our desire to express the triumphant glory of God with the vision of kingship that our liturgical year gives us today?How do we temper our desire to express the triumphant glory of God with the vision of kingship that our liturgical year gives us today? Click To Tweet
We do so by making our liturgies as authentically human as possible. We look for patience with one another and not perfection. In our music, we highlight words that matter, to discomfort the comfortable and comfort the inconsolable, rather than just seeking music that sounds good. We prepare places of honor in our churches, homes, and hearts not for leaders, donors, those with power, or those we know and like but for the forgotten ones, the ones who could never repay their debt, the indifferent, and the stranger.
This would be a fitting celebration for Christ through whose power and mercy all of us, happy thieves, may be granted to meet again in paradise.
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
Image credit: Scarlet Ellis, Unsplash, CC0.