Tenebrae, from the Latin word for "shadows," has been observed in the church of Jesus Christ since the fourth century on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday. During the service, different readers will recall the events that led Jesus to the cross, and we will extinguish fourteen candles, one by one, dramatizing the suffering and death of Jesus. The diminishing light symbolizes the fading devotion of the disciples and the sin of the world. At the end of the service the sanctuary will be dark. During the service, the chimes will toll thirty-three times to signal Jesus' thirty-three years. The Christ candle will then return, symbolizing the hope of his promised resurrection. At the conclusion of the service, please leave silently, contemplating Christ's crucifixion. Jesus, the Son of God, was dead.
We are a small, rural Presbyterian church in southwestern Pennsylvania.