Maundy Thursday: Tenebrae Service
Traditionally on this night we would gather together in the candlelit sanctuary. Readers would lead us by the ear through the story of Jesus’ Passion.
After each ancient word a candle would be extinguished leaving us in complete darkness with the horror of our capacity to crucify … to the tune of hammer blows.
With these ancient words we walk as a community into the heart of darkness … to discover the Light. The Light that comes to those who refuse to deny the darkness.
We would then strip the altar bare and leave the sanctuary in silence. Hammer blows still echoing over two thousand years.
I hear hammer blows echoing from last week. The hammer blows against the sanctuary doors still echoing in the empty sanctuary now stripped bare.
I invite you:
- To light a candle.
- Read Matthew 26-27.
- Extinguish the candle.
- Sit in the darkness.
- Embrace the emptiness – the emptiness as ending.
- Listen to the echoes in the silence.
- Embrace the emptiness – the emptiness as new beginning.
- Do not be afraid.
- Be at peace.