The service of Tenebrae, which means “shadows” or “darkness” in Latin, is taken from a special form of Evening Prayer used on the Wednesday, Thursday or Friday of Holy Week. (Time 41:47.)
Using scripture passages, music, and light, the story of Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, and crucifixion is retold in dramatic fashion. During this service, candles are gradually extinguished and the lights dimmed until only a single candle, considered a symbol of Christ, remains. Toward the end of the service, the ‘Christ candle’ is hidden, illustrating the apparent victory of the forces of evil over good. At the very end, a loud noise is made, recalling the earthquake at the time of Jesus’ death and his resurrection. The hidden candle is then restored to its place, symbolizing the triumph of Christ over death. By this single light, we all depart in silence.
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The Rev. Dr. William H. Allport, II, Celebrant
Mark A. Trautman, Director of Music
Choristers from St. Paul's Choir School