What is a Tenebrae?

The word “tenebrae” is Latin, meaning “shadows.”

It is the word we use for the brief, somber service in which Christians celebrate the death of Christ. Let that sink in. We are used to mourning death. We never celebrate death, because it is an enemy, the last and greatest enemy (1 Corinthians 15:25, 26).

But we can and do celebrate this one death, the death of Jesus, because it signals the death of Death. That’s right: In the death of Christ, Death itself dies, for Jesus pays the price for Sin with His life.

The Mystery of the Gospel is that through the greatest of all injustices, God worked the greatest act of mercy and love: Jesus bears the sin of the world, becoming Sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21).

In a regular Tenebrae, a series of Gospel readings parallels a sequence of candles which are extinguished one by one until total darkness penetrates the sanctuary, to signify the death of Jesus. After the tolling of the bells, that final candle, the Christ candle, is relit as a symbol of hope. He will live again, and therefore, so will we.

This year we meet online, so there are no candles, but Luke’s account of Christ’s Passion will enable us to envision the death of Jesus, knowing that He died, not for Himself but for you and me (Romans 5:8).

Join us a few minutes before 7:00 p.m. EDT tomorrow, Friday, April 10th, silence your phones and mute your microphones. Just listen. You will hear of Messiah’s prayer, betrayal, denial, trial, sentence, and death. Along the way, Jesus pardons a sinner crucified with Him. That sinner could have been you or me. Let it be.


By Phone: 669-224-3412 / Access Code: 821962645 # #
or click this link:
Online: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/821962645


Come gather, sinners, beneath the Cross;
Here we are saved from infinite loss.

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