Last night I led a Maundy Thursday service at my small church. Since we don’t have a Good Friday service, after communion I transitioned into a tenebrae service. I think it is important that we make that difficult journey to the cross together, if not on Friday, then on Thursday night.
I bought a large white pillar candle years ago to use as the Christ candle for services like this. I brought it with me when I moved to Charleston. Somehow, simply lighting that candle brings back precious memories of worship services and faces in worship from years past. A new candle might be prettier, but there’s something special to me about this candle.
An interesting thing has happened, however, for the past two years of tenebrae services. The candle snuffer that I use to extinguish all the other candles will not extinguish the Christ candle. I guess it’s because the wick has burned so far down into the pillar candle that enough oxygen remains to feed the flame. Regardless, it doesn’t matter how long I hold the snuffer over the candle, the flame will not go out. So for two years I’ve had to lay the snuffer aside and blow the Christ candle out. By my own breath.
There’s a powerful reminder in that, you know?
Blessings to you on this most holy of days.