Have you ever stopped to think about what Easter means to you? For most people it is just another holiday. And that is if you happen to live in a country where they cease most operations in order to give their employees a long break. Right now I am in a place which pretty much adopts the ‘business as usual’ policy.
Well, yesterday evening (Thursday) we had our Tenebrae church service. The service took about an hour, and was characterized mainly by singing, reading of scriptures and prayers. We were also served with Holy Communion; but it was the extinguishing of the candles after each scripture reading that to me, solemnized the event.
That brief minute of silence as each candle was extinguished, reminded me of how near Christ was to me. He was just a moment away! He could read my thoughts, hear my whispering heart and interpret each of my pleas correctly. There was no need for me to shout. He was there with me, just as he was there in the room where the disciples were helplessly gathered with no idea as what to do next.
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
What is a Tenebrae service?
The word “Tenebrae” comes from the Latin meaning “darkness.” The Tenebrae is an ancient Christian Good Friday service that makes use of gradually diminishing light through the extinguishing of candles to symbolize the events of that week from the triumphant Palm Sunday entry through Jesus’ burial.
This increasing darkness symbolizes the approaching darkness of Jesus’ death and of hopelessness in the world without God. The service concludes in darkness, sometimes with a final candle, the Christ candle, carried out of the sanctuary, symbolizing the death of Jesus. A loud noise may also sound symbolizing the closing of Jesus’ tomb. The worshippers then leave in silence to ponder the impact of Christ’s death and await the coming Resurrection.
From Google search.