Home Church will mark Holy Week with unique ‘service of shadows’

Tenebrae, with its roots in 4th century, was comprised of three services in three days


While most churches are planning Good Friday services, Home Church Langley is planning something different for Holy Week.

Instead, the church is hosting a Tenebrae service or a ‘service of shadows’.

Tenebrae is far less common in today’s churches but is becoming increasingly popular.

Tenebrae has its origins in the 4th century and was originally comprised of three services over three days (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday) with the principal ceremony being held on Holy Thursday.

This somber ceremony includes the gradual extinguishing of candles following the reading of various scriptures.

Its purpose is to remember the emotional aspects of Christ’s Passion —  His betrayal, abandonment and the agony of Gethsemane — and ultimately, His sufferings on Good Friday.

While Home Church Langley will put its unique stamp on Tenebrae, it will contain some traditional elements as well.

Movements, or segments will include the recitation of traditional Bible passages and various readings that relate the Passion story from all four gospels.

The candles lit at the beginning of the service will be put out after each movement until finally all of them have been extinguished.

The congregation is left in darkness.

The service will end with a slamming door as a reminder of the tomb being sealed.

The congregation will then leave in silence.

“The purpose of our Tenebrae service is to prepare our hearts and meditate on the sufferings of Christ on our behalf so that we can all the more celebrate the joy of His resurrection on Easter morning,” said Pastor Jim Moerman

The Tenebrae service will be held on Thursday March 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Nicomekl School (20050-53 Ave).

On Sunday there will be an Easter Service at 10 a.m.

For more information, contact Home Church Langley at 604-514-4663 or visit www.homechurch.ca.