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A Service of the Tenebrae

In preparation for this litany:  You will need to set up on the altar or a table seven white candles in any type of candle holder and in one horizontal line. Place an eighth slightly bigger or taller Christ candle in the center. Use a candle snuffer to extinguish; have flash lights ready for your lay readers.

Lighting of the altar candles Tenebrae candles
Extinguishing of Lights.

Readings (after each reading, a candle is extinguished, the reader says: "Lord, have mercy" the congregation responds: "Christ, have mercy")

1. His Betrayal -- Matthew 26:20-25
2. His Inner Turmoil -- Luke 22:40-44
3. His Loneliness -- Matthew 26:40-45
4. His Desertion -- Matthew 26:47-50,55,56
5. His Accusation-- Matthew 26:59-67
6. His Mockery Mark -- 15:12-20
7. His Death -- Luke 23:33-46

Only the Christ candle remains.

Hymn: "Were you there when they crucified my Lord?"

8. The Darkness -- John 1:1-4
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God
All things came into being through him, and without him not
one thing came into being. What has come into being in him
was life, and the life was the light of all people.

Add: The light has come into the world, but people love the darkness
rather than the light.

The Christ candle is extinguished, leaving the church is in utter darkness

Shout (with an emphasis on suffering): "My God, My God why have you forsaken me?"

Allow for 30 seconds of total darkness, then switch on emergency lights so that people can find their way out of the sanctuary.

Program folder note:
Following the service, please leave the sanctuary in respectful silence