Friday, 22 April 2011

Another one!

 Careful child and watchful parents mean that another egg cup has survived all these years without a scratch.  I didn't like this one quite as much as the boot so maybe it didn't have quite so much use.  It is amazing that it has moved around with me all these years from house to house without getting broken.
 Clearly the Easter Bunny isn't a recent phenomena ... you do wonder how the symbolism became confused!
Symbolism is the big feature of tonight's Tenebrae.  In Windsor Presbyterian we'll use the big thick candles ... but I did a little recreation early this morning with table candles.
Twelve, representing the disciples and one taller white one  will be lit before the service begins.
 As the passion narrative is read one by one the candles will be extinguished.  The gathering shadows is where "Tenebrae" comes from.  In the darkness the terrible deeds of Good Friday are told in words and music.
 Eventually only one candle remains alight as the last minutes of Jesus' life are remembered.  Then, as he surrenders his spirit ... even that candle is blown out and the church will be in total darkness.
 The prophet's words pierce the dark as Isaiah writes, "He was wounded for our transgressions ... ".
A solo voice will sing, "Were you there when they crucified my Lord .... " and, as the last verse is sung the white candle, now relit, is returned to its place on the table.  The promise of resurrection, a single light in the darkness, gives a glimmer of hope as we enter the period of watching before the dawn of Easter Day.
This Crown of Thorns plant is a reminder too of the torture - a symbol of the suffering of this day we call "Good Friday".

Almighty Father,
Look with mercy on this your family
for which our Lord Jesus Christ
was content to be betrayed
and given up into the hands of sinners
and to suffer death upon the cross;
who is alive and glorified with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen. 

Book of Common Prayer
Collect of Good Friday. 

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