On June 25, 2016, we celebrated The Seattle School’s 18th Commencement ceremony at Seattle’s historic town hall. It was a day that was at once festive and solemn as our entire community gathered to honor the hard work of the graduating students in our Master of Divinity, MA in Theology & Culture, and MA in Counseling Psychology programs.

Each year, three graduates—one from each degree program—are selected to address their fellow students and all of those gathered to celebrate their accomplishments. Here, Steven Denler (MATC) reflects on how the Easter Triduum reflects on the journey of studying at The Seattle School, moving from the darkness of Holy Friday, through the silence and questions of Holy Sunday, toward the hope and resurrection of Easter Sunday. Steven also shares from his own experience of profound loss, being ripped from Holy Saturday and thrown back into the grief of Friday, grappling with how that has shaped his time as a theology student.

“We come alongside others with a newfound capacity for hope, knowing that their stories can be redeemed precisely because we have dug down deep into the trenches of our own and found this to be true. […] To stop and engage death, be it figuratively or literally, is terrifying. But it’s also the only way to healing.”