On Wednesday, in the evening as darkness begins to fall, we will anticipate the passion to come, the darkness that will fall over the whole land on the afternoon of Good Friday, the agony and the grief, and finally, the entrance back into the light as the rock is rolled away.

The Tenebrae liturgy uses readings from the Psalms and from the Lamentations of Jeremiah, with meditative Antiphons interpreting them in the shadow of the cross. A candle holder in the shape of a triangle holds lights extinguished one by one, except for the last, the highest candle, which is hidden in the darkness, and restored before the congregation leaves, reminding us that the light of Christ, the light that has come into the world, can never be extinguished, even by death, even by the cross.

Resurrection awaits.

My parish has not, to its memory, celebrated Tenebrae before, and we do not own a Tenebrae candlestick. So I have been constructing one for us. It is quite imperfect. I am nevertheless quite proud of it, and I am glad to have invested my work, my blood (only a little), my prayers in its realization.

I hope that it will serve us well on Wednesday, and for years to come (until we buy a better wrought one, more worthy to enlighten our worship, and lead us into the dark).

The following photo gallery will give some idea of how this came into being, and how it turned out.

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About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing , and Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, both from Upper Room Books. She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
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2 Responses to Tenebrae

  1. John Mark Hunter says:

    Thank you! I think I’ll follow your lead and prepare a solid triangle for our Tenebrae service tomorrow night.

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