Jolene and Elizabeth discuss Easter and a few hot topics in the news, including a British initiative to give prophylactics to 12-year-old boys.
Archive for April, 2010
A random set of events occurred recently that brought me to church last night for a Tenebrae service. About a month ago, I was visiting a friend when her sister stopped by. They briefly discussed a situation at church and the need for an oboe player for a church service on Good Friday. I brought up that I knew a good oboe player from
college, high school, elementary school… and that was that. About two weeks ago, my friend called me up and asked about this oboe-playing friend. Apparently their oboe player couldn’t make it, and they were now in dire need…
Through the wonders of Facebook I was able to get in touch with a girl I hadn’t seen since college 6 years ago. (Wow, has it really been that long?) The connection was made and things worked out.
Ok, rewind. I grew up going to liturgical church, and never once went to a Good Friday service. In high school I started going to a Baptist church, and the formality of the services was gone. This actually fit more with my preference for worship…traditional formulaic services were no longer a part of my repertoire. So, I’ve never experienced a Tenebrae service, let alone even heard of one.
So I was curious, and drawn by the fact that I’d get to see a friend I hadn’t encountered in quite some time. And my friend had invited me. So here I was seated in a tiny Anglican church ready to experience something new. And I was quite content.
Tenebrae is a prayer service. It incorporates music, scripture, candles, and prayer to bring to mind Christ’s last days before the cross. Readings from the Gospels are chosen to highlight events leading up to Golgotha. Each reading brings you closer to that point, and as it does so, you seem to be aware of just how heartrending Jesus’ path was. I was struck emotionally as I listened to each passage. And at the end of each passage, a lighted candle was extinguished leaving you in complete darkness and silence at the end of the service…
I really appreciated this experience. I felt connected to the scriptures, and despite the seriousness of the focus, I felt at peace. The words of Jesus, resonated through me as the final words were spoken, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani.” God forsook his only son for me.
He forsook His son on the cross, to complete and utter brutality, for you.
Yet even in this sadness, we have hope. We can have peace, because on the third day He rose again, conquering sin and death, and providing us a way to the Father and everlasting life. Let us all celebrate Easter this year, remembering that God gave up his most beloved for us, and that Jesus has risen and we can be free.
Rejoice, and be glad!