One of the questions I’m often asked by newer members of Northside is what is the Easter Thursday service all about. Mentioning Maundy Thursday or specifically the Service of Shadows that we present can result in glazed eyes. The service of
Tenebrae, meaning darkness or shadows is a very old liturgy, having being practiced since as early as the Middle Ages. Tenebrae portrays the various different stages of suffering Christ endured in His final hours, examples including His betrayal, His denial, being accused and of course His death. These shadows are depicted through specific Bible readings that focus on key moments in the final hours of the life of Christ. As solemn as it sounds reading this, the service itself is very moving and the darkness is represented by the lack of lighting in the auditorium – not any gruesome dramatic presentation or showing of The Passion (perhaps save that for your lounge room!).
My first Service of Shadows was at Northside. Having not experienced one I was so intrigued and I have loved participating in them every year for the past decade. I can assure you all it is a very moving and powerful way to begin your Easter experience – a simple 30 minute service to get you thinking and remember all Jesus has done for us.
Good Friday, also a shorter service, is designed to be reflective and appropriate for the occasion. Through music, Bible readings, communion and preaching we take the time to remember the significance of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Easter Sunday is of course a celebration of the resurrection of the living God. It is a great day and a very uplifting service. We try to take people through a journey across the four services (or three if you come to one on the Sunday) so I encourage you to come along to as many as you can. Please also think and pray about who you can invite this year to be a part of our Northside Easter services.