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Service of Tenebrae

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Date/Time
1 Apr 2015
7:00 pm - 7:45 pm


Service of Tenebrae

Wed, April 1st, 7:00pm

The word ‘tenebrae’ is Latin for shadows. The purpose of the Tenebrae service is to recreate the emotional aspects of the passion story. The core of the Tenebrae service works like this: It starts out with the church in candlelight. There are as many candles as there are readings, plus a white Christ candle. The readers go up one at a time, read their assigned selections, and extinguish one of the candles, until only the Christ candle remains. Then the Christ candle is put out, leaving the congregation in near total darkness—and near total devastation. At this point, the service ends. There is no benediction and the people leave in silence.                                                            The purpose of the service is to recreate the betrayal, abandonment, and agony of the events, and it is left unfinished, because the story isn’t over until Easter Day.