“Jesus knew that the only way to explode the myth of death and sacrifice was to undermine it by entering into it. To prove to us that we will live even when we seem to die. To defeat the myth from within by showing us that ultimately God has nothing to do with death or with our sacrifices.”
– Br. Robert L’Esperance
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?
“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.
“Live As Though Death Does Not Matter” – Br. Robert L’Esperance
An invitation to see Jesus’ death on the cross not as sacrifice, but as the ultimate teaching of Jesus’ core message: we do not have to live our lives as death’s victims.
“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.
Br. Jonathan Maury
On Tenebrae (4:09)
Br. David Vryhof
“Light of the World” (40:37) Br. David V.