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Donna Fletcher Crow

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Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more. www.donnafletchercrow.com

Fay Sampson

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Fay Sampson (UK) is a writer of adult and children's fiction and non-fiction, including A MALIGNANT HOUSE, #2 in the Susie Fewings series, a British Crime Club Pick. http://www.faysampson.co.uk

Good Friday in a Monastery

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ April 6, 2012

Yes, A Darkly Hidden Truth, The Monastery Murders 2, is a murder mystery with lots of action. Felicity spends most of her time finding dead bodies and solving the crime; chasing murderers and being chased by them; rescuing Antony or being rescued by him. But she does occasionally take time out for worship. After all, she is studying theology in a monastery and thinking of becoming a nun.

So here’s her Good Friday at the Community of the Transfiguration:

The Solemn Liturgy continued with readings, Psalms and prayers. All stood for the singing of the Passion according to St. John by the cantors. At the line ". . . He gave up his spirit" all genuflected and paused in silence. Cynthia was right. The silence was shouting. The universe shrieking and raging for all who died unfairly, untimely. For all the victims of sin and injustice.

A clap of thunder made Felicity jerk as if she had been shot. As Sir Robert had been shot. And Neville? She realized she didn’t actually know how Neville had died. Just that he had.

Felicity was still on her knees while the rest of the congregation was standing, singing, "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross."

A rough, wooden crucifix was carried in for the next part of the service: Veneration of the Cross. Cantors sang, "Behold the wood of the Cross, whereon was hung the Saviour of the world. O come let us worship," as the medieval ritual of "creeping to the cross" began. Felicity forced her mind back to the present. She really wanted to participate fully in this. She was determined not to let thieves, murders and criminals rob her of the experience.

Walking barefoot on the cold stone floor beside her mother, she made her way forward, through the rood screen arch and to genuflect in the middle of the choir. Kneel before the cross, kiss the feet of Jesus, then return to seat. She had read the pattern. Kneeling at the foot of the cross, though, she was so overcome she found it almost impossible to rise to her feet. Cynthia put her hand under Felicity’s arm and lifted her gently.

The priest brought forward the reserved sacrament from the Altar of Repose, "Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world."

"Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed." Felicity returned to the altar to receive the reserved host, then departed in silence. The silence of thunder and gunshots.

In the US: http://ning.it/HVFcBq

In the UK: http://ning.it/HVFQyS

Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more. www.donnafletchercrow.com

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Again, Good Friday as I experienced it with The Community of the Resurrection in Yorkshire.
-Donna, April 6, 2012

Next week, Dolores, we'll get to participate in a Stations of Light service with our family in Calgary. Never heard of this before, but it's Stations of the Cross After the Resurrection. (Has some Latin name I can't recall)

Was it your silver guitar?
-Donna, April 6, 2012

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