Keeping watch

They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. ‘Stay here and keep watch.’ Mark:13, 32–35

(I wrote this story during Holy Week 2015)

On Holy Thursday, also called Maundy Thursday, my church joins others in a “keeping watch” program. People sign up for 30-minute shifts that night, after the Maundy Thursday service, and sit, pray, meditate, whatever. There is someone in the church throughout much of the night.

I’ve always thought it was cool to chill in the sanctuary, just hang out. I was raised Catholic, and church to me has never been an intimidating building. It’s my second home.

At St. Augustine of Canterbury in Oklahoma City, Okla., the last slot is midnight-12:30 a.m., and that’s my slot. I work an evening shift that lets out about that time. Also, I like it because the church is quiet, and it feels like I’m all alone with the Lord and all the saints.


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