Tenebrae means “shadows” in Latin. This is a service of word, light and sound. When you arrive for worship you will see two groups of candles lit on the altar table. As readings are read the candles on the altar will be gradually extinguished until the very end of the service when the last candle left lit is removed from the worship space and the whole sanctuary is left in darkness. At that point a loud crash will (should) shatter the silence of the sanctuary. Then, after a moment, the last candle is returned to the sanctuary and the worshippers depart in silence. The gradual darkening of the sanctuary and the crashing noise symbolizes the apparent victory of death, darkness, and chaos over Jesus Christ on the cross. The final candle being removed and returned, symbolizes the truth that through Jesus’ death, God gained victory over all the powers of evil. The Light was not overcome.
You can access the full service bulletin here.