God with us at Easter worship

tenebrae U

Kate, Parish Assistant, offers a personal reflection on Holy Week and Easter at St C’s

I have never experienced Tenebrae before, but I suspected that it would be a service I would find moving; I was not prepared for its impact on me.

The service was a series of readings and music focusing on Christ’s Passion and entirely candlelit.  In the darkness, it was just me, and God.  Of course I was entirely familiar with the Passion, however this time, I heard something different that connected with me deeply.

Hearing once again the story of Judas and his betrayal of Jesus and Peter’s denial, connected with my own experience of betrayal and denial.  It was a moment of deep seated realisation that God entirely understood me and my experience, because he had experienced the same.  This isn’t a lofty God, sitting aloof in his heaven offering tea and sympathy; this is a God who got his hands dirty, who became incarnate, who experienced hurt, betrayal and denial and really feels and shares in our pain. This was a moment for me of true communion of God.

Through the journey to the cross on Good Friday, it was my turn to journey with my Lord through his suffering.  Easter Saturday, I had the enormous privilege of singing the Exsultet, proclaiming Easter.

As I sang the words “The power of this holy night dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy; it casts out hatred, brings us peace,” I knew that whatever had been before, all was now well and I was at peace.

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About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community where people of differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2364267899/
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