Service of Darkness

Published March 30, 2013 by Maryanne

Service of Darkness

Last night, accompanied by my husband, I attended my first “Service of Darkness” as a Christian.

It was powerful.

It was done so well that it was easy to let your imagination take over and feel that you were right there, watching Jesus as he died and bled blood and water.

The service began with one of my favorite classical tunes: Gymnopedie No. 1 by Eric Satie (my favorite classical composer).

Prayers were spoken,hymns were sung, the choir performed, bible verses were read and the seven last words of Jesus were read as seven candles were extinguished throughout the service.

The first word: “Father, forgive them.”; Luke 23:32-38: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

The second word: “Truly, I say to you …”; Luke 23:39-45: “Today you will be with me in Paradise.”

The third word: “Women, behold, thy Son”; John 19:23-27: “Here is your son. Here is your mother.”

The fourth word: “My God, my God”; Mark 15:23-39: “Why have you forsaken me.”

The fifth word: “I thirst”; John 19:28-29 “I thirst.”

The sixth word: “It is finished.”; John 19:30-37 “It is finished.”

The seventh word: “Father, into your hands …”; Luke 23:44-56 “Into your hands I commend my spirit.”

After the seventh candle was extinguished, you heard the closing of the tomb. And the church was dark.

We adore you, O Christ, we bless you, by your holy cross you have redeemed the whole world.

All left the church in silence.

8 comments on “Service of Darkness

  • I don’t remember going to many tenebrae services on Good Friday as a kid–I guess my church didn’t do them at the time. The first time we did, I loved it–though all the services during the Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil) are my favorite.

    • This was my favorite time too, all three (Pastor encouraged us to attend all three and I’m so happy I did). I enjoyed this even more than the Christmas service, which was my first Lutheran service ever.

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