Posted by: Melissa Bane Sevier | April 20, 2011

Dark Before the Dawn

My favorite service in Holy Week comes on Thursday. Always. It’s not that I don’t love Palm/Passion Sunday with its procession, branches, children’s choir; I certainly do. And it’s not that I don’t love Easter morning with its flowers, soaring organ and brass. It is the most beautiful service of the year.

It’s that if I never experience the darkness, the light doesn’t mean so much.

A lit candle after the power goes out helps us find our way in the dark. But a candle lit in a bright room, even though it may look lovely, is not as important and meaningful. Once a year our worship service takes us to a meal in an upper room where a friend turns traitor, to a garden of hard-fought prayer and then arrest, to a kangaroo court, and to an execution. Once a year, we peer into the abyss and we remember those whose suffering was mirrored on the cross: the oppressed, the dying, the unjustly accused, the deserted, the hopeless. Once a year, we leave the place of worship in dark, ponderous silence.

Yes, we will return in three days to glorious light and joy.

But it’s the darkness that gives the light its purpose.

© Melissa Bane Sevier, 2011



  1. Maundy Thursday was the favorite service of my mother. She could never understand why the church was not full for this service.

  2. worth thinking about….

  3. […] [6]  Siehe: […]

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