A Service of Darkness
New to Watsontown UMC’s repertoire of Holy Week experiences is a Good Friday Tenebrae service; this will occur at WUMC at 7:00 PM on Friday April 18, 2014. The Tenebrae is a very powerful and moving service that recalls Jesus’ betrayal, trial, suffering, and crucifixion. Below is a brief written by Carl Crawford on the significance of the service:
The service of Tenebrae, or ‘shadows,’ grew out of combination Night Prayer and early Morning Prayer with an additional focus on the commemoration of Jesus trial and death (the passion story). The latter usually was read by several deacons. The most significant feature of the service is the gradual extinguishing of the lights and candles in the room and on the altar. The bare table and unvested furnishings emphasize the starkness of the events. The candles represent the followers of Jesus, and the white candle represents Christ. The Passion narrative is read, the candles extinguished to Lenten hymns and poetry. An atmosphere of quiet and sober reflection should permeate the readings and prayers. The theme of darkness and light is one of the richest biblical symbols, and a symbol with which young and old alike can easily identify.
For a worship experience with quite a different flavor than the exuberance of Easter Morning, consider seeking a Tenebrae or Good Friday service.
~ Pastor Ryan