Friday, April 10, 2009


It's Good Friday. I hate that name. It's such ridiculous thing to call a day marked by bloodshed, by darkness, by hatred "good". Years ago, as a small child, I memorized a prayer for this day, a prayer that has stayed with me all these years. It began "Lord, it seems so strange to call a day like this Good Friday."

I always feel Holy Week deeply. And Friday is always the hardest day.

I head for the mountains, not because they help or bring comfort, but because at least there, unlike the city, there seems to be space large enough to hold the brokenness and suffering without it being absolutely crushing.

I'm attending a service called Tenebrae this morning with my roommate and some friends. It's the only service I've ever attended that seems to fit this day. It's an ancient ritual, involving candles and darkness. You walk into a dim room, lit only by a few candles. Move through reflections on shadows. Songs. Scriptures. Reflections. As the passion narrative progresses, the shadows grow deeper - candles are snuffed until finally only the Christ candle remains. And then, that too is snuffed out, and you simply leave, in silence.

After Tenebrae we'll have lunch together and then L. and I will go to the mountains. We'll stop at a place I've loved and just sit for awhile. L. will take photos, and I'll likely write for a while. And then we'll head off together to take more photos, and round out the day with a trip to the hot springs.

It'll likely be quiet here for the rest of the weekend. The only thoughts likely to make it here (if any at all) will be reflections on the progression of the rest of Holy Week, and the deep longing and need for the arrival of resurrection.

My heart has been numb, but today it is beginning to hurt again, and I am needing to allow space for that. To let myself feel and think and experience. To search for Jesus and peace. To pray, and simply be quiet.


renee said...

tenebrae is my very favorite church service - because it is so unfinished. (though i haven't been in years) ... and light and then deep deep darkness. the episcopal church does it the best.