ON MAUNDY Thursday, the Revd Sarah Jones and her friend Ruth
Wilkinson spent the day slaving over a hot bonfire in the
churchyard of Holy Trinity, Finslock, in Oxford diocese. They were
roasting a whole lamb over the open fire, a task that takes six
hours; but a further two hours were needed to get the fire to the
right temperature in the first place.
The evening service started with a hymn, a prayer, and a
reading. Then, in memory of the Passover, the lamb was served with
pitta bread and salad, accompanied by a glass of wine or beer. The
service resumed with the Passover reading from Exodus 12 about the
cooking of a whole lamb, suggesting that if the lamb is too big,
you should invite your neighbours, and roast it over an open fire
with bitter herbs, and eat it with bread made without yeast.
(Whether they observed the further instruction, to eat it in haste
"with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet,
and your staff in your hand", Ms Jones does not say.)
Those who wished then went into the church for the more usual
foot-washing and communion. All that remained, Ms Jones says, was
for her and Ms Wilkinson to clear up.