Today is Holy Thursday. Our church celebrates this day with a Service of Darkness.
We come into a slightly darkened sanctuary, sing some solemn hymns, hear a meditation, and share in communion.
Then, the readings of the Passion scriptures begin. As they are read, the worship elements are removed from the sanctuary (the cross, the Bible, the candles, the decorations, etc) and black cloths are draped over the altars and lecturns. A candle is extinguished and the lights dim further after each reading as the congregation sings a verse of "Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?"
The service ends with the Christ candle being the only light in the room still lit. The pastor walks it out of the room, to represent Christ's death... and then brings it back, to represent that God's love is always with us.
The room is left in complete darkness, but that one light... and silence.
Gradually, people get up and leave when they are ready.
It's beautiful. Really beautiful.
As someone who works in the church - Holy Week is never really that Holy. We're busy setting up, tearing down, coaching our helpers, making sure every detail is cared for... It's hardly a quiet week.
And I often forget to remember what it is that we're remembering and celebrating. I get caught up in the noise and details - and forget to experience the quiet...
And tonight, as I finally sat in a pew, at the end of the service...
The quiet settled in.
My eyes watered. My shoulders relaxed. My thoughts focused on one thing - the man that was Christ. The man that taught me how to live. That taught me faith, belief, and commitment. The man that died on a cross for us to know God through Him. Sacrifice, so that I could know life with God.
In a world that is so full of noise... I need this quiet a little more often.
Things I am thankful for today:
1. Remembering details.
3. Kids from church who helped with the service - they did great!
4. A Holy moment.
5. Serving communion.
6. Going on an impromptu date with the hubby after the service.
7. Finding out our tax refund is, indeed, on the way!
8. Finding quick answers.
9. Preparing for another quiet day - our Prayer Vigil - tomorrow.
10. Looking forward to hosting Easter at my house!