Tonight’s worship is patterned after an ancient order of service for Good Friday dating back to the 7th or 8th century A.D. The word “tenebrae” is Latin for darkness, a reference to the darkness that covered the land at Jesus’ death. Our service tonight, while solemn, is not a funeral service for Jesus, nor is it a message of gloom, but it reflects the horrible price the Lamb of God paid to free us from our sins, from death and the devil. Tenebrae is filled with symbolism. Tonight you will notice the following parts of our Tenebrae worship:
- † A bare altar and sanctuary
– this reminds us of Christ’s abandonment because of our sin
- † Extinguishing of candles
– recalls the darkening of the sun while Christ was on the cross and the
ebbing away of his life as he hangs on the cross
- † Lighting of the Resurrection candle
– anticipates seeing Christ, risen from the grave, on Easter Sunday
- † Silence after worship
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