Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


A particular gravity

Jim Ferguson singing from the Messiah during TenebraeEach day of Holy Week brings its own insights into Jesus' life and ministry. Last night that came from the medieval Holy Week service of Tenebrae. Tenebrae means "shadows" and during the service candles are exstinguished following each reading. The center point of the service, which added a particular gravity to our worship, came with Jim Ferguson's solo taken from four consecutive short pieces in Handel's Messiah. Jim powerfully sang words echoing the readings from Lamentations (1:1-14) we heard and the Psalms we recited together.

The service took a slower pace and involved a lower level of light, which in turn encouraged lower voices, especially as we finished by reading Psalm 51 in unison. The words of the service brought a somber tone of contemplating our sins, not to beat ourselves up over our shortcomings, but so that we may bring our falleness to God.

Today is Maundy Thursday, which means "Commandment Thursday" from the Latin maundatum as Jesus said that night, "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another." We'll begin at 6 p.m. with an Agape Meal of soup bread, cheese, olives and wine. The meal is remembers the meals for which Christians gathered in the earliest days of our faith. During our Maundy Thursday service which starts at 7 p.m. we'll read of Jesus washing his disciples' feet as a sign of the life of service to which he calls his followers. Those who wish to do so will be able to take part in the foot washing. Each day the services change to reflect different aspects of Jesus' life and ministry.


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