Theresa tweeted last week that Lent ends on Maundy Thursday for Catholics. So I felt alright about getting up on Good Friday and heading straight to Hot Doug’s for brunch. Good Friday is a market holiday, so I always have the day off. I typically spend the day with Kathy, brunching before the daytime Seven Last Words service at Trinity UCC. But as we were going to the evening Seven Last Words service at Saint Sabina, I need to fill my day with something. And that something were some motherfucking sausages.
And cheese fries. Let’s not forget about the cheese fries.
The day was glorious. Friday was an 80-degree day, just like Thursday before it, so waiting 30, 40 minutes to get inside and eat was my pleasure. It would have been nice to have a friend along had I remembered to ask people to come with but oh well. I am good at eating by myself, and besides I had all manner of diners to spy on. Big groups of tourists. Students on spring break. Dudes from the gaming company across the street picking up orders to go. The music was perfect. Buzzcocks, Kinks, Replacements. I wanted to get up on my table and start go-go dancing. After two hot dogs, an order of cheese fries, and endless cups of cherry coke, I could have used the exercise. I settled for walking to the Target nearby and buying some Liberty of London for Target stationery. A scarf and a headband, also L of L for T. Some mousse, which I haven’t been using because I think it’s too much product for my fine (read: thin) hair. Oh, and this totally cute-ass dress that I ended up wearing to church that night.
Women’s Plus-Size Merona® Ebony Cap-Sleeve Dress : Target, $30
Women’s new arrivals – shoes – Abby toe cap ballet flats – J.Crew, $70
Rose Accent Necklace, $5.80
notre dame cathedral interior photo — Declan McCullagh photograph
Not that I was trying to look cute for church. More like appropriate. But I’ve never been to Saint Sabina so I didn’t know if people were going to get dressed up or dress for comfort because hello we’d be attending what ended up being a four hour service.
Yes, four hours of church on a Friday night. This is not counting the hour beforehand just hanging out in the pews, as Kathy and I arrived early so we could get seats. This gave me enough time to appreciate that the pews were upholstered, and that the western light coming into the sanctuary through the open doors behind me made everything look magical. Folding chairs sat at both ends of every pew, making the aisles one-person wide. None of the religious statuary seen in other Catholic churches. No crucifixes. A yellow neon sign that said, simply, JESUS, hung over the pulpit. Plants and a band of musicians in the transept. Parishioners and preachers were everywhere, greeting each other with kisses and hugs.
Folks were dressed casually, or in business attire like they’d just come from work (Kathy had to work that day), or like they were going to the club. For serious, there was a lady who was probably in her late 60’s, looked like she was in her late 40’s, and was wearing jeggings. And she made it look good. Maybe that’s a minor miracle right there, that her fabulousness was able to make me reconsider my negative position on denim leggings. No men in candy colored suits and matching gators. I guessed that would come out for Easter. The pastors all wore suits, including Father Michael Pfleger. I’d never seen him out of his basic black with clerical collar. Very sharp.
The preaching was good, though I fear that Rev. Dr. Carolyn Knight of “Can Do!” Ministries didn’t quite connect with me as well as I would have liked. But she ended strong, just like the other five pastors in the line up. There would have been six except that Bishop Rudolph McKissick wasn’t able to attend. It seems that somebody had just up and fell on him earlier in the week. This confused Father Mike to no end as he was introducing Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, who preached on the two last words. People fell out when he said “How the hell does somebody just fall on you?”
There had been a dance worship, a song or two. No collection, no Communion, no kneeling. Plenty of praying, singing, and more than enough laughter.