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Content about Tenebrae service

December 1, 2001

Bulletin Note
Tenebrae, from the Latin word for “shadows,” has been observed in the church of Jesus Christ since the fourth century, on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday. During the service, different readers will recall the events that led Jesus to the cross, and we will extinguish seven candles, one by one, dramatizing the suffering and death of Jesus. The diminishing light symbolizes the fading devotion of the disciples and the sin of the world. At the end of the service the worship center will be dark.

December 1, 1998

After hearing about the Good Friday Tenebrae service at Calvin College several times, I decided to go last year. Arriving shortly before the service was to begin, I was amazed to find every seat taken; more than twelve hundred students already filled the auditorium.

December 1, 1989

Tenebrae, which is a Latin word meaning "shadows," has been observed in the church of Jesus Christ since the fourth century. On this Good Friday we remember the death of Jesus and recall his seven last words on the cross. As we remember the last words, we will extinguish the candles on the communion table, one by one. The gradual extinguishing of the candles will be accompanied by prayers, hymns, choral anthems, and readings from Scripture.

December 1, 1986

For many congregations the Tenebrae service, usually held on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday, is one of the most moving and meaningful worship services of the year. In a candle-lit sanctuary Christ's suffering is commemorated through Scripture and song. Candles are extinguished one by one as the congregation listens to the account of Christ's suffering and death.