Have you thought to Spring clean your home today in readiness of Easter? In doing some research I have discovered that one of the names given to Holy Wednesday is Cleaning Wednesday and it apparently comes from the time when the faithful would be following the observance of the holy days of the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus. So have you cleaned your home yet? Have you polished the brass, swept the floors and washed down the windows and paintwork?
"According to an ancient tradition the three days after Palm Sunday are devoted in many places to a thorough cleaning of the house, the most vigorous of the whole year. Carpets, couches, arm chairs, and mattresses are carried into the open and every speck of dust is beaten out of them. Mother and children scrub and wax floors and furniture, change curtains, wash windows, and dispose of all superfluous or unusable articles that have accumulated in the course of months. The home is buzzing with activity. No time is wasted on the usual kitchen work, the meals are very casual and light. On Wednesday night everything has to be back in place, glossy and shining."
"It seems that the custom was taken over from the ancient Jewish practice, for the Jews in the Old Testament cleansed and swept and decorated the whole house in preparation for the feast of the Pasch (Passover)."
The act of cleaning for many people is liberating. It is a discipline it is the making yourself ready for the day. I know people who follow a strict cleaning regime, not just on Holy Wednesday but every single day of the year as there are always floors to be vacuumed and toilets to be cleaned whether it is Easter, Christmas or a birthday! It has traditionally been thought of as women's work but of course we know differently now!
Equally, life and housework is now also much easier with modern tools and cleaning products even eco ones to speed us on our way. We all lead such busy lives and so often in family situations whoever gets home first or up first in the morning will whizz round making all good for the day. There is in this a lost sense of cleaning as making things better, almost right. You know that feeling of getting into a newly laundered bed, with fresh sweet smelling bedding - all is good, clean and right.
I knew a woman who once made her housework into her confession time the making things clean, sparkling, right and fresh to use and mess up again. Some people use peeling the Sunday veg as a time of confession as well. I can't say I have entered into either of these but I do quite like the idea of Cleaning Wednesday and all being sparkling and fresh, ready to greet the Risen Christ and our time beforehand to journey with our Lord to the cross and beyond.
Why not try it out and as you clean, praise God, make your confession, thanksgiving and intercede for others and so on. See if cleaning well today enables you to walk more closely with Christ as he journeys to the cross and the joy of the Resurrection.