What Is Tenebrae?

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And the darkness has not overcome it.
— John 1:5

This dramatic mourning ritual dates back centuries and is a held during the Triduum. Tenebrae, which means darkness or shadows, acquired its name because of the mourning ritual surrounding the ceremony, which includes a triangular stand with fifteen candles that are one by one extinguished until darkness totally cloaks the Church. But in the darkness is a powerful prayer, and with only one candle lit, the assembly disperses in solemn silence. It’s a ceremony that seeps into your bones and leaves your entire being longing for Easter…longing for the Resurrection…longing for the victory of our Light.

Join us after the 7:30pm Lord’s Passion and Death on Good Friday. Tenebrae begins at 9pm in the Church, and if you haven’t ever participated this powerful service, perhaps it’s time.

Carolyn Shields