Monday, April 05, 2004

Tenebrae

I'm currently preparing for our Maundy Thursday service at St. Paul's. As I was reading through the United Methodist Book of Worship, I was surprised to see that a service of Tenebrae was included as an act within the Maundy Thursday liturgy. I have always thought Tenebrae was only part of Catholic services, perhaps much like my congregants thought Imposition of Ashes on Ash Wednesday was only for Catholics. You learn something new every day...
Anyway, I think I might try to include this in our worship on Thursday. I like the poignant symbolism of stripping the sanctuary of the banners and the candlesticks, etc., draping the cross. I think visuals communicate so loudly sometimes. Not sure how the congregation will react, but I think they will appreciate it. I'm looking for a different Tenebrae liturgy than is in the Book of Worship however. They have the reading of the Passion narrative accompanying the extinguishing of candles, but we just heard that in church on this Palm/Passion Sunday, so I'd rather try a different approach. Let me know if you see one out there somewhere!

**update: read my most recent post on this topic here, complete with resources i've found since originally posting this message**