Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical


We picked up my grandmother and I remembered how much she talks and was set on edge, worrying that she would talk throughout the service and drive me crazy.  I went into church with her while my mom parked the car and was torn between wanting to sit down in the sanctuary and knowing that at least outside the sanctuary it wasn't a big deal if she was talking (though sound carries so I was still twitchy).  When we did go into the sanctuary I went into the pew first, partly to keep my mother between me and my grandmother but primarily to make it least of an issue if I didn't take Communion.  People were talking softly, and I was annoyed, though I know it's allowed before the servce starts.

service bulletin cover: purple cloth and crown of thorns on top of rough cloth and wood; white lettering: For us and for our salvation

Introit: He Was Wounded
Hymn: Jesus Paid It All

I wasn't all that into the hymns.

Responsive Reading, with that men/women/everyone breakup I love so much.  And PB kept stumbling over the reading due to the dim light.
One thing I did find interesting was hearing the words sort of in waves -- sitting in the middle, speed of sound, lack of exact unison.

Hymn: Break Thou The Bread of Life

I decided to take Communion, in large part as an attempt to do this whole Holy Week thing, and also knowing I would never do Maundy Thursday service in this church again and deciding that this would be the last time I take Communion at this church.  PB stumbled through this as well -- "And after the meal, He took the Cup..." as we all sit there holding bread in our hands; so as the deacon(ess)es started down the aisle we all just ate the bread.

Anthem: Remember Me
They sang the line about "this is my body, broken for you" as an ambulance went by.

Matthew 26:20-25
20When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21And while they were eating, he said, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me."

22They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, "Surely not I, Lord?"

23Jesus replied, "The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born."

25Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, "Surely not I, Rabbi?"
      Jesus answered, "Yes, it is you."[Or "You yourself have said it"]
I don't understand why Judas says this, since he knows it's him.  Unless he's trying to act like the other disciples to save face with them for as long as possible?  Also, I have for ages had issues with Jesus' whole Judas is teh damndest.  (I actually had issues with it in Dante's Inferno before it registered for me in Scripture, I think.)  Because the Betrayal was necessary for the Crucifixion which was necessary for the Resurrection, which was the whole point wasn't it?

Matthew 26:31-35
31Then Jesus told them, "This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:
  " 'I will strike the shepherd,
      and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'[Zech. 13:7] 32But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee."

33Peter replied, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will."

34"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times."

35But Peter declared, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the other disciples said the same.
Driving to pick up Grandma, my mom was saying Peter's her favorite, the lovable screwup with such enthusiasm.

Choir: O Jesus, Thou Art Standing (stanza 3)

Luke 22:39-44
39Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40On reaching the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation." 41He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." 43An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.[Some early manuscripts do not have verses 43 and 44.]

Mark 14:32-41
32They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray." 33He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34</sup>"My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," he said to them. "Stay here and keep watch."

35Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36"Abba,[Aramaic for Father] Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."

37Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Simon," he said to Peter, "are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? 38Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

39Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.

41Returning the third time, he said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Ah, the repetition of the same scene throughout the gospels.  And oh the torment scene which is so problematic for the Jesus=God thing.

Solo [Bev, who is lovely]: 'Tis Midnight, and on Olive's Brow (stanzas 1, 2)
"Emmanuel wrestles lone with fears; e'en the disciple whom He loved heeds not his Master's grief and tears."  ♥ mention of "the disciple whom He loved" :)

John 17:1-6
1After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

6"I have revealed you[Greek your name; also in verse 26] to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.

Wow, John, heavyhanded much?

John 17:15-22
15My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17Sanctify[Greek hagiazo (set apart for sacred use or make holy also in verse 19] them by the truth; your word is truth. 18As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

20"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:

Choir: In Christ There is No East or West (stanza 1)

John 18:1-5
1When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove, and he and his disciples went into it.

2Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

4Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, "Who is it you want?"

5"Jesus of Nazareth," they replied.

I kept thinking about how Pastor Hamilton talked about how John skips over the whole anguish bit, just moves them right through the olive garden.

Mark 15:16-20
16The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers. 17They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. 18And they began to call out to him, "Hail, king of the Jews!" 19Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. 20And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

After each reading, some of the candles up front would be extinguished.  (They should move in toward the center, but this got messed up partway through.  Le sigh.)  So soon the readers were using flashlights.  The reader for this passage read as follows: ""Then they led him out" [turns off flashlight] "to crucify him."  Props to her for the dramatic flair.

And wow, when there's only one candle, it suddenly seems so bright when you extinguish it.

Choir: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (stanzas 1, 4)
As the choir sings, the cross will be carried to the front of the sanctuary.

This is one of those hymns I'm usually not really into, but hearing it while a man carries a cross taller than he is down the aisle, it feels more powerful.

The Lord's Prayer
The sanctuary will be in total darkness, symbolic of the flight of the disciples and the passion of our Lord.

What part of "The sanctuary will be in total darkness" does the organist not understand?  Oh yeah, the "total" part.  Yes, there's the Postlude later, but that's quite a bit later, and you don't need nearly so much light anyway.

The Tolling of the Bell
The bell is tolled thirty-three times, the number of years of Christ's earthly ministry.

Looking at the cross, and listening to the tolling, I kept thinking about the dramatic renditions from FCCN's Palm Sunday service and about something I was reading recently about how the disciples didn't expect Jesus to rise from the dead and thinking about what it would be like to watch your leader, friend, etc. nailed to a cross and die.  (Yes I know that's a Good Friday thing, but we're amalgamating.)

The Lighting of the Easter Candle
The Benediction
As the Postlude begins the Pastor, readers and the choir will leave the sanctuary in silence, followed by the congregation.

I think I went to Maundy Thursday service at least once when I was in high school, but obviously I haven't been since, so I kept thinking of First Churches -- and I honestly couldn't remember much besides the physical structure, though I was remembering how First Churches actually did footwashing before the Maundy Thursday service officially began (something I personally skipped).

There was so much silence during the service.  I was really impressed.  I'm actually not the silence person my mom is (my mind wanders, and I really don't know how to meditate, so I prefer having texts to focus on) but I do get annoyed at the lack of silence in worship services.  My mother suggested the silences were likely due to people trying to figure out what to do next (quite literally "in the dark" and all that).  Which is probably true.  Still glad, though.

Looking at the one candle on the altar as we left, I thought about the idea of that one little light in all the darkness and the end shot of the JCS movie that Lindsey and Allie and I have talked about, and also about how this is the inversion of the Christmas Eve service where we turn off all the lights but we have candles at the ends of all the pews and we all light each other's candles from the Christ Candle.

I was glad that people kept the chatting outside to a minimum, because it's so deflating to leave what's supposed to be a somber powerful service and have people have totally flipped the switch into a different mode.

Oh, and I liked that the choir wore all black (no robes).
Tags: church: norwood: ucn, lent: 2006

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