We gathered in the church, clustering closely, the Divine Office in our hands, and gazing at the the ascending fifteen candles nestled in a wooden, triangular stand. The solemn rise and fall of Latin prayers, Matins and Lauds, filled the air as we listened to the grief and lamentation of the Psalms + Jeremiah.
"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return to the Lord your God."
With each reading, a yellowed candle and the overhead lights were extinguished until only the center candle, white to represent the Christ, was the only light. It flickered calmly and quietly.
We gazed at the Light that stood alone, the entire church shrouded in darkness and shadows.
Then a clamor arose - knocking and drumming, wild noise of clangers and our hands beating against the wooden pews - symbolizing the chaos and tumult that arose in Nature itself when the Light of the world went out.
Pure, deep, and profound silence such as I have never heard before.
The mourning of our Lord.
His Calvary begins.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return to the Lord your God.