Friday, March 29, 2013


Last night
I attended Tenebrae
the service of darkness.

when the service begins
the sanctuary
is lit by candles

The congregation shares
in communion
the holiest of all celebrations

Jesus invites his disciples
to eat the bread
"This is my body,
broken for you,
Eat this in remembrance of me.

And drink the wine.
This is my blood
poured out for you
drink this in remembrance of me.

as pastors read
the stories of Jesus' last days on earth

are extinguished
one by one

Jesus washes the disciples' feet
tells Peter
that he will betray him
three times before the cock crows

a candle is blown out
the world becomes darker

Jesus sends Judas
out to betray him

a candle is blown out
and the world becomes darker


the soldiers come
and Jesus is betrayed.

a candle is blown out
the world becomes darker

And then 
the Author of Love
is plunged into the depths of hatred.

My God, my God, 
why have you forsaken me?
and are so far from my cry
and from the words of my distress?
O my God, I cry in the daytime, 
but you do not answer; 
by night as well, but I find no rest.

the pastor carries
the final candle
the Christ candle
out of the room

the sanctuary is dark

and the congregants leave 
in total silence

waiting for Resurrection Sunday

this morning
like a thousand others
I cry out to God

I have prayed
and prayed
for change
in my boys' lives
I have prayed for healing
and for wholeness.

I have prayed
that my boys would know
in the innermost depth of their being
that they are loved
by me
but more importantly
by the Father. 
And that that love
would set them free
to be the men
I know live inside
their broken
wounded hearts.

I have prayed for 
godly men
to walk alongside of them
on this journey

and yet

for the last two years
Our lives have felt like

one candle 
after another

Until we are left
in total darkness
and His voice is 
replaced by silence

My God, my God, 
why have you forsaken me?
and are so far from my cry
and from the words of my distress?
O my God, I cry in the daytime, 
but you do not answer; 
by night as well, but I find no rest.

I am trying hard
to remember
to believe
and to wait patiently

for Resurrection Sunday.

You are holy,
O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
In You our fathers trusted;
They trusted and You delivered them.
To You they cried out and were delivered;
In You they trusted and were not disappointed.


Beverley Baird said...

Ihave never been to a Tenebrae service. How powerful that would be. To leave in darkness, to be like the early Christians - to know Jesus was dead and you are alone. We know the resurrection is to come - but to experience that darkness would be quite chilling |think.
I continue to pray for you and your sons. I trust in the goodness of the Lord - may that goodness enwrap all of you and bring peace and love.

b said...

Carol, I felt your entire piece in the depths of my soul. I love the parallel structure you created and how richly you expressed your spiritual dreams for your boys. All mothers could offer this prayer. Wishing you peace that passes understanding... You took risks today...I felt like I did too. Have a blessed Easter weekend. He is risen!

LibraryDragon/Storykeeper said...

My heart and prayers go out to you. You have been there for your boys. Knowing that it would be an uphill battle. I can only guess at the pain and conflict you have been through visioning what is possible. Yet experiencing the reality and aftermath of what broke your children's heart.

May the future be filled with joy.

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

Just back from Tenebrae, and the last time seeing my daughter (the last of our brood of 3) singing with her father in this beautiful, haunting service. Such a lovely post, captured the mood of one's soul perfectly.

Michelle said...

I love the parallels between the stories in your poem. My advice is to keep praying and pray for God's plan because you know He has a plan for your boys - whether it's realized sooner or later. I pray your boys realize they too need God in their lives to soften their hearts. Thank you for the reminder of the darkness, but out of darkness comes light - a beautiful light of victory.

Linda B said...

I hope this time will bring you some joy, Carol. Your writing and the hope in it is very powerful.

writekimwrite said...

You have said so much and expressed it so deeply. You and they and we are never alone. God is here. I once heard a preacher give a message on this day, he kept saying " It may be Friday now BUT Sunday is coming." Standing with you in prayer.

Carol said...

Thanks so much for all the prayers. We can definitely use all the prayers we can get.

Mary Lee said...

Faith matters.