Going Through the Motions

Going through the motions.

That is, after all, what clergy do much of their time. They have church rituals, of course, but also routine meetings and receptions and lunches and dinners, and never-ending paperwork.

Most of us like the routine, even though it can feel burdensome. Paperwork is generally predictable, while pastoral crises aren’t.

Holy Week especially asks us to go through the motions. For eight days, from Palm Sunday through Easter, we do almost exactly the same things we did last year. Sermons will be new, but the rituals will be generally the same.

I recall a friend who had retired from the rectorship of a busy parish saying that what he missed most from his previous life was the “dailiness.” I also appreciate the routine and give thanks for it. —J. Douglas Ousley

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