Tenebrae for Good Friday

This service of worship for Good Friday is taken from an early Christian service called Tenebrae. The name Tenebrae is the Latin word for “darkness” or “shadows.” We can only experience only a small portion of Christ’s pain and suffering the day of His crucifixion. One of the most conspicuous features of the service is the gradual extinguishing of candles until only a single candle, considered a symbol of our Lord, remains. As it gets darker and darker we can reflect on the great emotional and physical pain that was very real for Jesus that evening. Toward the end of the service, the Christ candle is removed, typifying the apparent victory of the forces of evil over good. In the darkness, we all depart this service in silence. But darkness is never the end and the light is returned as we prepare to keep vigil.