~ ABOUT THE TENEBRAE SERVICE ~
Many of the events surrounding the last days of Jesus’ life are shrouded in shadow. In the fourth century, a solemn observance of Holy Communion, known as “Tenebrae” was celebrated. The service involved the extinguishing of candles as a reminder of the darkness that covered the earth after the Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus. “Tenebrae” means shadow or darkness.
The candles are extinguished gradually, symbolic of the gradual flight and denial of the disciples and friends of Jesus during his arrest, trial and execution. However, as we commemorate those events this evening and are reminded of our own fading loyalty and the consequence of our separation from God, we are also reminded that the Light of Christ can never be totally extinguished. In that Light we find forgiveness and fellowship in communion with Christ.