I was done blogging for the week. Then my schedule worked out in such a way that I wasn’t able to attend any services on either Maundy Thursday or Good Friday. Being me, I decided to just put one together for myself and my daughter. (Totally normal behavior, right? Let’s tag it “prayer project” and pretend I planned it that way.) Here are the readings I’m using: Tenebrae Home Service Mark.
Since our church building will be open from now until Easter Sunday I’m going to take my daughter there for a short time of prayer and to walk ourselves through this mini-service of shadows. However, there’s no reason it can’t be done at home. I’m just craving the silent emptiness of the sanctuary.
If you’re not familiar with the Tenebrae service, the idea is simple. There’s a prayer and reading, followed by the extinguishing of a candle. The readings can vary a bit but they trace the last day of Jesus, from the Last Supper to the crucifixion. Normally readings are drawn from all four gospels but our congregation has been reading from Mark this Lenten season so I pulled all my readings from there for continuity. A standard outline and explanation can be found on Ken Collins site.
As for the number of readings, that can vary. I have seven which is actually is a mystical kind of number but in all honesty, it’s just because I have seven candles. Many services have 8 or more readings. So if you’re home with more or less candles, do whatcha gotta do.
I hope this reaches you if you’re in need of centering, prayer and reading today. No matter how you’ve observed the week, remember: Easter is coming!