Follow the instructions in our Holy Week @ home guide for guidance. Tenebrae’ comes from the Latin, meaning darkness. A tenebrae service walks through the 7 last sayings of Jesus, growing darker and darker until his death.
CALL TO WORSHIP
Who believes what we've heard and seen? Who would have though God's saving power would look like this? The Servant grew up before God- A scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look. He was looked down on and passed over; A man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. But the fact is, it was our pain he carried; We thought he brought it on himself; that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him. He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
(From Isaiah 53)
LISTEN TO "THE GARDEN"
A MOMENT TO PRAY
Lord Jesus, today you carried all sin in your own body on the tree so we could live. May all people find new life in you, both now and in the world to come. Meet with us tonight as we remember what you did, and speak to our hearts as we hear the record of your conquering love. Amen.
THE LIGHTING OF THE CANDLES
Take a moment to light (or turn on) the seven candles, or lights you've prepared ahead of time.
Once you have done that, take a moment to appreciate the light they put off.
CONFESSION OF SIN
Creator, we admit that we are far from perfect. We have disrespected ourselves, others, and you by doing things we shouldn't do and by not doing things we should. We are sorry for all the times we have failed. Please forgive us. We will do our best to be better tomorrow than we were today. Please help us to follow you. We want people to see you in how we live. Thank you for not giving up on us!
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
This is the message we have heard from God and declare to you: God is light; in God there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with God, yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
From this point on, after every reading please extinguish one of your seven light sources leaving the Christ light for last.
THE FIRST CANDLE
When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots to divide his clothing. And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others: let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!" The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!" There was also an inscription over him, "This is the King of the Jews."
LISTEN TO "BROTHER"
THE SECOND CANDLE
Meanwhile, standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
THE THIRD CANDLE
One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him,
saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
LISTEN TO "JESUS, REMEMBER ME"
THE FOURTH CANDLE
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
LISTEN TO "WHY GOD"
THE FIFTH CANDLE
After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth.
THE SIXTH CANDLE
When Jesus had received the wine, he said, "It is finished." Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
LISTEN TO "HOW DEEP THE FATHER'S LOVE FOR US"
THE SEVENTH CANDLE
It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun's light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.
When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
LISTEN TO STRICKEN (PSALM 22)
Remove the Christ candle from the room you are in
Sit in silence for 1 minute
IN THE SHADOW OF THE TOMB
After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.
LISTEN TO "WERE YOU THERE WHEN THEY CRUCIFIED MY LORD"
May Jesus Christ, who for our sake, became obedient unto death, even death on a cross, keep you and strengthen you this night and forever.
Go in peace.
After completing the service, please feel free to share your reflections under the Good Friday post on our Facebook page.