"Tenebrae factae sunt super universam terram."
"There was darkness over the whole earth."
This fragment from the Gospel of St. Matthew (cf. 27:45) sets the mood for the next three liturgical days.
The Light of the World is preparing to be extinguished.
Up to this point He had never shone brighter. His entrance into Jerusalem showed that. The crowds were at fever pitch. Sacred and secular authorities wondered what would happen now.
Satan was ready to strike. He had prepared someone to aid in his bidding. It only cost 30 pieces of silver.
But there was still much to be done. His last Passover meal on earth, merged with the eternal Wedding Feast. The "first" Tenebrae service in Olivet. The two trials. All the tribulations. The "Via Dolorosa".
The somberness underlying Holy Thursday morphs into the utter desolation of Good Friday and the grieving of Holy Saturday. The Church dutifully notes this in Her rites and rituals.
There is still much to be done. While "Do this in remembrance of Me" specifically refers to the institution of the Mass, could it not be said in a general way about the whole of the liturgical calendar and even more so the Sacred Triduum? It is these next three days, our High Holy Days, with all of their ceremonies, that our Lord and Saviour will shine the brightest.
Take part as best as you are able. “The light will be among you only a little while. Walk while you have the light, so that darkness may not overcome you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of the light.” (John 12:35-36)
The darkness comes soon enough.
Lent is over.
Tenebrae factae sunt super universam terram.