A moment from our Good Friday Tenebrae Service

Jesus hung on the cross for six hours before he died. In that time, he spoke to his friends, to the criminal crucified next to him, and to God. These are traditionally called the Final seven sayings of Jesus. Artists from our community represented these sayings in artworks and installations that we reflected on as part of this special communion service of shadows.
We regret not having photographed all the pieces. But here is one by Cathy Woods and Mermaid Gurruwiwi from Elcho island.

Station 3:

“Woman behold your son; behold your mother”
(John 19:26-27)
Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.

Artists: Cathy Woods and Mermaid Gurruwiwi
Artist Statement: This story is particularly significant for the Yolngu people here in Arnhem land. They so naturally understand Jesus concern for his dear mother and his friend who he loved in his final moments.
I see so many times through the years these words of Jesus being acted out in their own lives as family members pass away. Without question they take people into their homes and adopt them as their own mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons or daughters.
It also reminds me of how they have adopted many non-indigenous people into their families and cared for them as their own. This story causes me to reflect on the humanity of Jesus.  How painful to watch family and friends weeping at the cross.  How much he wanted to carry their grief even then and provide for them both.  How much he understands our need this very day for caring relationships.
Materials: Bed sheet and acrylic paint.