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Thus Begins Holy Week

I began my Holy Week observance in earnest by going to the choral Tenebrae at my presenting church tonight.  Tenebrae, from the Latin which means "darkness," is a liturgy of matins and lauds for the last three days of Holy Week.  Several different composers set parts of the office to music, and the combined choirs and individual soloists all did a magnificent job with the psalms, lessons, and responsories. 

During plainsong and anthems, fourteen candles on a wooden hearse and six office lights on the High Altar are successively extinguished, save all for but one - the Christ light - which is finally carried away and hidden, shrouding the sanctuary in total darkness.

After a period of time which symbolizes Christ's entombment and his descent into Hell, a sudden noise announces Christ breaking forth from the tomb to pass over from death to life.  At that time, the Christ light is brought back in.  I am always moved to tears when the light returns.  Tonight was no exception.

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." - John 1: 5

I walk the Way of the Cross this week, for Jesus Christ died that my sins might be forgiven.

Thank you, Lord, for your mercy is great.