We are in the Christian season of Lent, which is a time of renewal, a time to let things go, a time to return the things we have borrowed or stolen. A time to admit to ourselves, “This isn’t who I am.” A time to wait. A time to awaken. A time to renew a sense of direction.
I am overjoyed that Rev. Eric Posa will be joining you in August as your next contract minister! Rev. Eric is experiencing a personal renewal, coming back to Denton, to the place where he began his ministry, just as DUUF is anticipating an institutional renewal, coming back to spirited in-person gatherings after the pandemic. We have waited a long time for this renewal to begin!
I am also in a time of renewal. I need to let go, pack up and prepare for my next destination. I have no idea where that will be. Just as I never could have predicted I would find myself in Texas, I cannot forecast where I will end up next. For Lent this year, I’m giving up trying to predict the future.
Someone has said there can be no Easter without Good Friday. (There can be no rebirth without loss.) To honor this special season of our Unitarian and Universalist Christian heritage, I would like to invite you to celebrate a Tenebrae Communion Service on Thursday, April 14 at 7:00 pm. Because of the special lighting and communion issues, this meditative service will be in-person only and not available on Zoom.
The service begins with 12 lighted candles, and after each reading or song another candle is extinguished. Communion is shared with those who wish to receive it, and then the final candle is extinguished. The service ends with the communion table being stripped. There is silent prayer in the darkness, and people leave the sanctuary in solitude.
UU’s celebrate communion in the “Memorialist” style, which is based on the words of Jesus, “Do this in memory of me.” UU communion is neither a sacrament (an act of grace) nor an ordinance (a demonstration of faith). It is a simple reminder of our connections with each other. In some Unitarian communities in Transylvania, the annual communion service is preceded by a time of communal confession and forgiveness, based on Matthew 5:23-24, “Go and make peace… and then come and offer your gift.”
From the darkness of our Tenebrae gathering, we awaken to the new spirit of Easter Sunday.
May each of us find our way in this time of renewal.
–Rev. A.J. Galazen