". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

The video below is of approximately the last five minutes of our Tenebrae service tonight. It begins with a whispered Lord's Prayer, continues to the strepitus, and concludes with a young soprano* singing a cappella the second stanza of Paul Gerhardt's hymn, "A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth." The strepitus at our service is the most extended one I have ever experienced and signifies the shaking of the earth and splitting of rocks described in Matthew 27. It is accomplished by the playing of one or more timpani, beginning as a low and distant rumble and gradually crescendoing to a thundrous and deafening climax, representing the closing of Jesus's tomb. Prior to the strepitus the final candles are extinguished and the Christ candle removed, so much of this video is in darkness. A little over halfway, however, the Christ candle returns, pointing us towards the Resurrection, and these words are heard:

This Lamb is Christ, the soul's great friend,
The Lamb of God, our Savior,
Whom God the Father chose to send
To gain for us His favor.
"Go forth, My Son," the Father said,
"And free my children from their dread
Of guilt and condemnation.
The wrath and stripes are hard to bear,
But by Your passion they will share
The fruit of Your salvation."
(Lutheran Service Book 438)

*named Caitlin


Elephantschild said...

I love Caitlin's voice. :) Very beautiful!

Presbytera said...

Thanks Cheryl. Almost like we were there. The singing is clearly lovely!

Kelly said...

That was incredible! What a beautiful voice Caitlin! And not an easy hymn to sing unaccompanied either...