April 22 It Is Finished
It’s been sort of a churchy week here on the ol’ blog, but hey, it’s Holy Week. Today is Good Friday, and the Good Friday service has become one of my most favorite of the year.
The sanctuary grows progressively darker as we go through the story of the events leading to the cross. Candles are extinguished one by one. At the end of the service, it is completely dark, and the final candle is carried out of the sanctuary. It’s not extinguished – to signify Christ’s victory over death. In total darkness, the large Book is slammed shut (causing most of us to jump an inch off our chairs), reminding us that “It is finished.” (I learned this is called the “strepitus” – see more here.)
Then, the still-glowing candle is brought back in.
It’s extremely powerful.
“Ye who think of sin but lightly, Nor suppose the evil great,
Here may view its nature rightly, Here its guilt may estimate.”