( in answer to questions posed by The Record-Eagle)
As a Christian, and as a Spiritual Director, I take time regularly to be still, to pray and to contemplate, or notice where I am in relation to Christ, or the Spirit. Participating in the vigil enhances my experience of Holy week, but primarily I do it as an offering to God to be present through Christ’s time of persecution and suffering; to stand witness and not look away, to offer thanksgiving for the sacrifice made.
Anyone who has sat with someone during their last hours knows of how it can offer a time of closeness to the person dieing, and a time filled with what Christians call the Holy Spirit. It is often referred to as a “thin space.” Being quiet and alone in church for the vigil, especially at night, offers the opportunity of a quiet and often deeper contemplation of my relationship with God. Holy Week invites me to examine Christ’s last days and hours on earth; his betrayal, his persecution, his all too human request of God to spare him, and of course the crucifixion and his death. But the paradox, and God is always full of paradoxes, is to hold all of this up against His humbling himself to wash the feet of the disciples, and his offering to them, and us, of the greatest commandment, to "Love One Another”.