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Three Crosses - Celebrating Easter Week - Michelangelo's Pieta and Much More

Updated on March 21, 2016

Easter offers more than just the traditional Easter service, Easter is a week long time of celebration and reflection. The Tenebrae service is something that can be soul searching and life changing. Below is a synopsis of the Tenebrae service and some of the elements being presented at the Lake Geneva Church in Wisconsin called Chapel on the Hill. The description is provided by one of its members but the essence of this is to consider attending this service in your local area this year. If you have never attended a Tenebrae service, it is something to consider to add to your devotion during the week of Easter. View two magnificent videos in celebration of Easter, see world class art from Michelangelo and learn more about the many different types of services offered during Easter week.

The Power of the Cross Keith & Kristyn Getty

Favorite Quotes from Michelangelo

Genius is eternal patience.

However rich I may have been, I have always lived like a poor man.

I feast on wine and bread, and feasts they are.

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.

If people knew how hard I have had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem wonderful at all.

The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.

The Lamb of God - Twila Paris

Easter Services - Various Types

In addition to the Easter Sunday Service, there is also Palm Sunday, Lent Services and Good Friday Services and also the Tenebrae Service. A little bit more about the Tenebrae service from a devoted church member:

Tenebrae Service:

"I hope you will really consider attending the Tenebrae Service in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin year!

I say this because this is a time YOU can be blessed and BE a blessing to the members of the choir who have been so faithful in their ministry to us throughout the year.

The choir is performing a work called “The Power of the Cross”. This is a portion of what it says on the back cover of the score: …”In this powerful offering from Mark Hayes, we journey with Christ through Holy Week experiencing momentous events that changed history for all of humankind. Mark’s distinctive compositional voice adds to the drama of the work, from the emotional underscore for the narration to inspiring choruses that combine original music with contemporary tunes and traditional hymns. Masterful arrangements of Twila Paris’s Lamb of God and Keith Getty and Stuart Townend’s The Power of the Cross, along with an unforgettable mezzo-soprano solo inspired by Michelangelo’s Pieta, in which we hear the anguish of Mary the mother of Christ, contribute to a truly compelling work for Easter worship…..

The Power of the Cross provides an artful and poignant reminder of Christ’s sacrifice of love, His triumph over death, and His promise of redemption for us all.” It is really beautiful and so full of meaning…..Please join us at 7:30, Friday for the Tenebrae service or any of the other services during Easter week."

Pieta by Michelangelo

Pieta by Michelangelo
Pieta by Michelangelo | Source

Background of the Easter Service Program

Allot of the terms and information and artworks may be foreign to you. All of us have heard of Michelangelo but can we name his top four works? Do we truly understand the history and the visualization that moved Michelangelo to create this masterpiece called " pieta"?

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), whom we all know as simply Michelangelo was an Italian sculptor, poet, engineer, painter, and architect.

Top Four Artistic Achievements by Michelangelo

Michelangelo's Famous Pieta

The Pieta is a famous work by Michelangelo which is carved out of carrerra marble and depicts the body of Christ in the arms of his mother Mary.

Wikipedia reports: "Michelangelo's interpretation of the Pietà is unique to the precedents. It is an important work as it balances the Renaissance ideals of classical beauty with naturalism."

Were you able to name the top four works of Michelangelo before you saw these listed here?

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Famous Quotes About Michelangelo's Pieta

"Michelangelo at 24 years of age, sculpted this Pietà from a single block of marble. I've been fortunate enough to see this with my own eyes; just breathtaking brilliance."


Pietà is one of Michelangelo’s most notable works, perhaps his most famous sculpture in competition with

David, and is often regarded as the greatest sculpture ever created. It was sculpted by Michelangelo between the years of 1498 and 1500, and was likely finished before he had even reached the age of 25."

"The sculpture was so beautiful that it inspired Giorgio Vasari, an Italian painter and biographer, to comment, 'It would be impossible for any craftsman or sculptor no matter how brilliant ever to surpass the grace or design of this work, or try to cut and polish the marble with the skill that Michelangelo displayed.'"

"The word Pieta means pity from the Greek word for "compassion" or "pity" and refers not, as often presumed to this specific work (Michelangelo actually did two other Pietas later in life, both of them unfinished) but to a traditional type of devotional image. The theme of Mary cradling the dead body of Christ in her lap was all but unknown in Italy before Michelangelo made it famous in this statue, but it was a staple in the repertoire of French and German sculptors and painters. Michelangelo, however, rendered the northern theme in a way never before attempted or accomplished."

Michelangelo's Work of Art

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sistine Chapel - Michelangelo Creation of Adamvarious view of the sculpture by Michelangelo called DavidMichelangelo's Last Judgement
Sistine Chapel - Michelangelo Creation of Adam
Sistine Chapel - Michelangelo Creation of Adam | Source
various view of the sculpture by Michelangelo called David
various view of the sculpture by Michelangelo called David | Source
Michelangelo's Last Judgement
Michelangelo's Last Judgement | Source

Tenebrae - Candles Are Extinguished One by One During the Course of the Religious Service

Liturgical - Tenebrae The candles are extinguished one by one during the course of the service.
Liturgical - Tenebrae The candles are extinguished one by one during the course of the service. | Source

Tenebrae - Shadows or Darkness - Religious Service

"Tenebrae (Latin for 'shadows' or 'darkness') is a Christian religious service celebrated within Western Christianity on the evening before or early morning of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, which are the last three days of Holy Week. The distinctive ceremony of Tenebrae is the gradual extinguishing of candles while a series of readings and psalms is chanted or recited.

Tenebrae services are celebrated by only some parishes of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, of the Polish National Catholic Church, of Anglicanism, of other Protestant churches such as Lutheranism, and of Western Rite Orthodoxy within the Eastern Orthodox Church."

Chapel on the Hill Lake Geneva Wisconsin

N2440 Ara Glen

Lake Geneva, WI 53125

Just off of Route 50, west of downtown Lake Geneva and south of the hotel called Geneva Ridge.

Map Chicago to Lake Geneva Wisonsin

Map Chicago to Lake Geneva Wisonsin
Map Chicago to Lake Geneva Wisonsin

Chapel on the Hill N2440 Ara Glen, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin (262) 245-9122

Chapel on the Hill Ara Glen Lake Geneva WI:
Ara Glen Drive, Lake Geneva, WI 53147, USA

get directions

Chapel on the Hill Ara Glen Lake Geneva WI (262) 245-9122

Chicagoland Area Short Drive to Lake Geneva Area

If you live anywhere in the Chicagoland area, the resort area of Lake Geneva Wisconsin is literally a short drive away. It is worth the drive not just for the beautiful lake but also for a remarkable non-denominational church conveniently located right on Route 50 just slightly west of the famous downtown village of Lake Geneva. The lake is called "Geneva Lake", the towns that surround the lake include the villages of Lake Geneva, Fontana, Williams Bay and Linn. There is always something wonderful in the resort area but a little unknown gem is the Chapel on the Hill.

Driving Walking Tips for the Chapel

The Chapel is south of Route 50. When driving west out of the town of Lake Geneva, you will see Geneva Ridge on the right, directly left is the Chapel.

Chapel is Beyond the Theater Called the Christian Arts Center

The Chapel is tucked beyond the theater so it is hidden and you must travel down the hill to get to the chapel's parking lot.

The name of the theater is Christian Arts Center.

Remember the first building is the theater you want the lower parking lot and then you will climb a steep hill to the Chapel.

If Hills Bother You - No Worries

If hills bother you, no worries, go past the main parking lot until you see the circle drive for the Chapel, feel free to park there or along the roadway. If you need valet service, there will always be someone at the circle to help you. Our congregation loves to help so please do not hesitate to ask.

Church Sanctuary and Chapel

The church sanctuary is beautiful. But next to the main church is a chapel. This chapel has a beautiful view of the landscape is one of the most delightful places in the entire world. The woodwork, the stone are exceptional and they are combined with extensive windows.

Sanctuary Walk In Nature

If you are up for a short walk in the midst of this beauty there is a monument outside and a grassy knoll amidst the pine trees. If you want to continue walking there are pathways amidst the giant trees.

Heaven on Earth

If you are seeking heaven on earth, this is one tiny spot in the world where you can walk among the grandest of beauty that God has ever created. If you do not believe in God, I challenge you to walk here and be silent and pray. If you need to feel God's love, this is a special corner of the world where you will feel the love of God all around you.

Attendance Tips About Chapel on the Hill

Our pastor, our congregation would love for you to visit us. We know church services are not for everyone. Please don't feel that you must arrive early and leave at the very end.

Feel free to simply drop in during the service and sit in the back and leave when you are comfortable.

Of course, we want you there and we want to meet you but we know not everyone wants to be apart of the church family and some are simply dipping their toe into this religion thing.

Non-Denominational Church With Both Contemporary and Traditional Elements

If you are seeking an open and inviting congregation or if you simply wish to stop in for 10 minutes, please do not hesitate, God wants even 10 minutes.

Share your life with him wherever you are. Seek God's love and you will feel his immense love for you and your family.

Three Crosses by Michelangelo

Three Crosses by Michelangelo in red chalk
Three Crosses by Michelangelo in red chalk

The Power of the Cross - Scenes from the Passion of Christ

Three Crosses - Magnificent Pieces of Art From Around the World

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Three Crosses Photograph by Debra and Dave VanderlaanCross Scene - Fra Angelico: Crucifixion and Saints, circa 1441-1442. This shows the three crosses. [Web Gallery of Art]Three Crosses in the Convent of San Marco Florence"Crucifixion" by Fra AngelicoFine Art Reproduction Oil Paintings - Commission a Hand Painted Oil Painting copy of The Three Crosses
Three Crosses Photograph by Debra and Dave Vanderlaan
Three Crosses Photograph by Debra and Dave Vanderlaan | Source
Cross Scene - Fra Angelico: Crucifixion and Saints, circa 1441-1442. This shows the three crosses. [Web Gallery of Art]
Cross Scene - Fra Angelico: Crucifixion and Saints, circa 1441-1442. This shows the three crosses. [Web Gallery of Art]
Three Crosses in the Convent of San Marco Florence
Three Crosses in the Convent of San Marco Florence | Source
"Crucifixion" by Fra Angelico
"Crucifixion" by Fra Angelico | Source
Fine Art Reproduction Oil Paintings - Commission a Hand Painted Oil Painting copy of The Three Crosses
Fine Art Reproduction Oil Paintings - Commission a Hand Painted Oil Painting copy of The Three Crosses | Source

Poem - The Power of the Cross

"When I look at Your cross
My eyes gush with tears
My heart is faint within me
To see my Lord suffering
To see my Lord in anguish
In the midst of my sadness
I remind myself and say
What a blessed moment
What a blessed day
When You have conquered death away
When You captured Satan and tied him up
When You revealed yourself to everyone
When You sat back on your throne again
Everyone cheered
Everyone rejoiced
You took the blame for me
You claiming me as your child You change my life forever
You gave me all the love that I need
You spared me from ultimate despair
You love me to the point of death
You open the gate for me to have a new life with you
I rejoice again
For the hope is to be with You
Thank You, Lord
For loving me so much"

Written by
Nagwa Abdou

Have you ever attended Tenebrae services before?

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Share Your Easter Traditions

Share your experience. Whether Christian or not, have you ever attended a Tenebrae service? If you are a non-Christian, have you ever attended a Christian service? What your your fondest memories of Easter? Does your family have an Easter tradition you would like to share? Please leave comments, we welcome all denominations and especially non-believers. Remember, one thing, God loves you!

Blessings to you and your family.



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    • ALL4JESUS profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from USA


      That is beautifully and succinctly explained - thank you! Deciphering the differences between death, resurrection and sacrifice and the redemption are important elements in our understanding.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      The death of Jesus (or near death experience) did not directly remove sin; however it was needed for the resurrection. It is the resurrection from the dead (Near Death Experience) which proves an afterlife actually exists. He could not come back from nothing. A place or condition must first exist before there can be a return. If one accepts the resurrection of Jesus, the afterlife or spirit is proved. Once the spirit is proved we should act according to the teachings of Jesus. Until the resurrection there was no objective reason to believe in a spirit at all.

      Sacrifice does not and has never removed sin. Jesus taught Forgiveness removes sin. Jesus was Not a blood sacrifice. Sacrifice is an ancient and false custom which is to be renounced.


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