Editorial

"Service of Shadows" to be held at Marshall Church of the Nazarene

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Tenebrae Service -- "Service of Shadows" will be held at the Marshall Church of the Nazarene on Good Friday, March 29 at 7 p.m.

The word 'tenebrae' is Latin for shadows. The purpose of the Tenebrae service is to recreate the emotional aspects of the passion story, so this is not supposed to be a happy service, because the occasion is not happy. If your expectation of Christian worship is that it should always be happy and exhilarating, you won't appreciate this service until the second time you attend it.

The service has long scripture narratives, which for this service are divided into seven parts, each one with an accompanying hymn. The Tenebrae starts out with the church in candlelight -- six candles, plus a white Christ candle. After each shadow is read, a candle is extinguished. Finally the Christ candle is put out, leaving the congregation in near total darkness--and near total devastation. At this point the service ends. There is no benediction and the people leave in silence.

The purpose of the service to recreate the betrayal, abandonment and agony of the events; and it is left unfinished, because the story isn't over until Easter Day.

Participate in the darkness of Good Friday so that your amazement and joy on Easter morning will be heightened and increased.