The service of Tenebrae or "shadows" grew out of a combination of night
prayer and early morning prayer with a focus on the commemoration of the
passion. In the middle ages it was read by monastic choirs. The bare altar
table emphasises the starkness of the events recalled. The candles
represent the apostles.
"Beneath the Cross of Jesus" V.U. 135
CALL TO WORSHIP
[Isaiah 53: 3-5]
He was despised and rejected by others; a man of sorrows and acquainted
with grief. As One from whom others hid their faces, He was despised and
held of no account.
Surely He has borne our infirmities and carried our sins. Yet we
accounted Him stricken, struck down and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities; upon
Him was the punishment that made us whole, and by His stripes we are
Jesus, we have come to Calvary with You. We seek to know the agony You
suffered there. Teach us to endure, as You endured the scorn of
unbelievers and the torments of our enemies. Save us from despair when
we are circled round about. Help us keep strong faith in You always.
When we falter, rescue us. When we forget Your promises, refresh our
memories. When we face death, be present to us. AMEN