"We do have to face the cross as Jesus did. What is your experience of being weighed in the balance and found wanting? Imagine that shame being nailed to the cross and know that in Jesus' victory over death, that shame will be transfigured. We have to summon the courage to know that we are worthy of love and belonging, that we are enough." – Br. Jim Woodrum
On Wednesday, the Brothers pray the ancient monastic office of Tenebrae, a service that derives from the monastic services of matins and lauds. The liturgy uses darkness and the gradual extinguishing of candles, until only a single candle remains, a symbol of our Lord. The service provides an opportunity for sustained reflection on the Lord’s suffering and death.
This liturgy, parts of which you can listen to below, is a choral offering, with chanted psalms and canticles set to plainsong and chanted lessons from the Lamentations of Jeremiah (in which each verse is introduced by a letter of the Hebrew alphabet). As you listen, you might light a candle, allowing its light to inspire your meditation.
In what ways has Jesus’ coming penetrated the darkness of your own life? In what ways are you blind, or unable to see?
- "Love & Betrayal" – Br. Geoffrey Tristram
On Wednesday in Holy Week, Br. Geoffrey Tristram weighs betrayal and love in the final days of Jesus – and in our own lives.
- "Lament" – Br. Luke Ditewig
Br. Luke Ditewig reminds us that God hears every cry and grieves with us.
- "Suffering with Jesus" – Br. Jonathan Maury
Br. Jonathan Maury suggests how Holy Week offers a sacramental and transformational means by which we experience the grace of divine love, which evil can never defeat.
- "The Identity of the Beloved Disciple" – Br. Jim Woodrum
"Who are you in this story?" Br. Jim Woodrum asks, inviting us to step into the gospel and find our own place – and responses – to the story unfolding.
- "In the Shadows" – Br. Luke Ditewig
Jesus was troubled, sad, and afraid – as we all are. This night invites us to linger in the darkness with him.
- "And It Was Night" – Br. James Koester
We only know the relief of dawn when the terrors of the night have kept us awake, so spend some time today in the darkness.