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.



Last evening, we observed the ancient Holy Week service of Tenebrae, which is the Latin word for "shadows." The service began with 15 candles burning on the altar, two candleholders with seven each and one lone, taller candle. Then as readings progressed primarily from the Psalms and the Lamentations of Jeremiah, candles were progressively snuffed out, until only the lone candle remained. It was then hidden behind the altar for a reading of Psalm 51, which is about penitence, and then it was replaced on the altar again. The service plays out visually what happens in Holy Week as the Light of Christ seemed to disappear on Good Friday, but the darkness did not overtake the light.

Deacon Jennifer Highsmith reverences the altar.

The candles all lit to start the service.

The Light of Christ remains, dispelling the darkness.

Maundy Thursday
Today is Maundy Thursday, a name which comes from the Latin "Maundatum" or "commandment." On the night before he died, Jesus told his disciples he had a new commandment, "Love one another as I have loved you." We remember Jesus' last meal with his disciples first with an Agape Meal at 6 p.m. The simple soup supper is pot luck and you may bring soup, bread, olives, cheese and/or wine for the meal. The 7 p.m. service will include footwashing and communion.

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  • At 3/20/2008 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Tenebrae service last was very moving. As each candle was snuffed out it became even more real what was being read. I was surprised at how it made me feel.


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