Saturday, April 07, 2007

Good Friday & Georges Rouault

Getting a sanctuary ready for Good Friday is easier said than done. "You're taking THAT out of the sanctuary too?" I heard. We even debated how to drape the cross with black cloth. My approach was to make it crude and ugly while Martha and Jeanne argued for something flowing. Ultimately, they did a great job stripping the sanctuary to bare bones: the singular cloth hanging over one arm of the cross, the Christ-candle alone on the bare flow of the apse and 7 little candles wrapped with string on the ledges.
Diana Trautwein constructed the service around the seven last words of Christ and added responsive comments or readings to each word. Dan Bos and the musical team of piano, violin and oboe added a plaintive sound to hymns and Taize songs throughout the evening.

Martha scoured her art-history books and found an evocative array of classical works of art depicting the crucifixion. They began with full color oil paintings, carving, a Rembrandt etching and then the dark prints of Christ by Georges Roualt. They were on the screen at each successive reading, staring down at us as we became the spectators at the crucifixion. Then, after the last reading, to the instrumental sound of "Were You There?" I walked the Christ-candle out of the now totally dark sanctuary into the night air. The congregation sat in stillness for several minutes, an uncomfortably long time for me out on the patio, but right for them.
Now this morning, all is silent in the sanctuary till afternoon, when crews of people will fill the space back up with flowers and decorations of hope and resurrection.


At 3:21 PM , Blogger Rock in the Grass said...

Peace this Easter brother
Pete G


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