Please join us on Maundy Thursday, April 6th at 7:00pm for
Tenebrae: A Service of Darkness
´╗┐Childcare available. Communion will be served.
A Brief Background of the Service of Tenebrae
The Service of Tenebrae follows a tradition of the church dating back to the eighth century. From Latin, the word Tenebrae means "darkness" and commemorates the final hours of our Lord's life on earth, as he suffered death upon the cross. 
In the early church, the service of Tenebrae was celebrated on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of Holy Week. The gradual darkening of the church portrays the diminishing light of the world as Christ was departing from it. 
The spirit of the service is one of deep, solemn meditation, with ample time given for reflection after each candle is extinguished. The lighting in the sanctuary will be gradually dimmed as the service progresses. As the candles are extinguished throughout the service, they symbolize the fading loyalty of the disciples and friends of Jesus. The candles are extinguished one by one after the scripture readings. 
A variety of vocal textures is provided by the cantor and choir, as well as the familiar hymns sung by the congregation, including "O Sacred Head, Now Wounded," "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross," and "Ah, Holy Jesus."
After the Last Supper, less than 24 hours remained in the earthly life of our Lord. Events moved rapidly: prayer in Gethsemane, betrayal by Judas, arrest, mock trial, beating, crowning with thorns, spitting, mockery, the trudge to Golgotha, and Jesus' death upon the cross. 
The Tenebrae service includes a reenactment of the tearing of the temple curtain and the earthquake near the end of the service.
The stripping of the chancel at the conclusion of the service, the removal of all ornamentation, is an ancient custom of the Roman rite done on Maundy Thursday. It is symbolic of the humiliation of Jesus at the hands of the soldiers. As Jesus' life was stripped from him, so we strip our chancel of the signs of life to symbolize his purposeful, redemptive suffering and death "for us and for our salvation."
We will be holding this Tenebrae service in the Sanctuary on Thursday, April 6th at 7:00pm and communion will be served.
It will be quite the worship experience as we contemplate the life and death of our Lord through liturgy and music from our wonderful guest musicians in a string quartet with oboe. A timpani will also be used to symbolize the earthquake.
Click the image above to read last year's Neeley's Notion on foot washing, then find Neeley and Erin in the Narthex before and after Tenebrae to experience the "maundy" aspect of Maundy Thursday.