04/15/2022 – Bulletin: Good Friday, a Tenebrae Service



Life and death stand side by side as we enter into Good Friday. In John’s passion account, Jesus reveals the power and glory of God, even as he is put on trial and sentenced to death. Standing with the disciples at the foot of the cross, we pray for the whole world in the ancient bidding prayer, as Christ’s death offers life to all. We gather in solemn devotion, but always with the promise that the tree around which we assemble is indeed a tree of life. We depart silently, and we anticipate the culmination of the Three Days in the Easter Vigil. Tenebrae (/ˈtɛnəbreɪ, -bri/—Latin for "darkness") a church service observed by many Christian denominations during the final part of Holy Week commemorating the sufferings and death of Christ. When celebrated by Lutheran congregations, it is typically celebrated on Good Friday. For us, today, it is seven readings from the Gospel of John which tells the story of Jesus arrest, trial, crucifixion, and burial. Each reading is marked by the extinguishing of a candle and a musical response, either sung or instrumental. The concluding candle is the Paschal candle. After the Paschal candle is extinguished and the last hymn is sung, the Lord’s Prayer is said by all. Then the Paschal candle is removed from the altar and the tomb is closed. Finally, The Paschal candle is restored, and the congregation departs in silence and contemplation.
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