The Tennebrae service is the most dramatic and solemn service we have. The light is provided by black candles which are extinguished one after another as the readings and music progress, there is a cross which is draped in black at the end of the service, the choir is in black and keeps silence between the songs. The music includes the sad and gorgeous hymns “Saw Ye My Savior?” “O, Sacred Head Now Wounded,” and “Were You There?” The readings tell of the betrayal and death of Jesus.
Last night, our acolytes were both Asian Americans, each with a fall of black hair over their black cassocks which added to the effect. We had a flute, piano, organ, tenor and soprano soloists. And that was me coughing during “What Wondrous Love” and sneezing in “It is Finished.”
The choir was sympathetic.
Beforehand, those ladies of the choir who had arranged their light Easter ensembles were moaning about it, since Easter morning is expected to reach 20 degrees, so I am not feeling bad about having failed to sew up my linen top. I have a brunch this morning, and #2 son’s gymnastics class. I need to make some cookies for Son-in-Law’s family and deliver those, and to drop off a slew of empty boxes at the old store. I had done the grocery shopping yesterday morning to leave some time free today for sewing, but #2 son assures me that I have to do some further shopping.
“You should let me come grocery shopping with you,” he said gravely but kindly, “so you won’t make these errors.”
The errors in question included failing to buy sugary cereal or things that teenage boys spray themselves with in lewd commercials. There were other things, I think, but I cannot remember them, which I suppose proves his point.
There also has to be baking and cleaning.
But I think I will also have to spend some part of the day resting. Drinking tea. Resting my voice.