By Todd Dillon, worship arts pastor, Plainfield (Indiana) Christian Church
We always have a pre-Resurrection Day service on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. Some of our favorite have been Tenebrae services based on different approaches to the final week before the crucifixion. Some of these have been based on the last seven words of Christ, as told through the eyes of various biblical characters, entwined with Scripture and music.
We have used the traditional Tenebrae approach, using lighted candles that we extinguish at intervals until we are left in darkness.
Another favorite was “a meal of remembrance.” We had tables of eight people, a designated facilitator at each one. We used various Scriptures and songs interspersed with objects that represented different parts of the final week: a candle, a palm frond, a bag with 30 pieces of silver, a prayer shawl, a crown of thorns, three nails.
Each object was discussed as it was passed around the table; the service was very interactive and tactile. We also had some planned verbal interaction.
(We expanded this from an idea Becky Ahlberg developed at Anaheim First Christian Church in California.)