An idea worth sharing – Lenten Tenebrae Liturgy

You may want to consider this liturgy as you plan Lent 2018.

Tenebrae, Latin for shadows, is a service where light fades into darkness.

Dating back to the eighth century, its diminishing light symbolizes the declining loyalty of Jesus’ disciples and the waning of the light as Jesus departs from the world.

Tenebrae
Readers Warren Fisher and Nancy Storey, with server Wayne Chevalier, lead the Lenten Tenebrae Liturgy at the Church of the Epiphany Oakville during the 8:30 a.m. worship. Photo: Hollis Hiscock

In one sense it is the reversal of the Advent wreath, when a candle is lit each week and the light grows in anticipation of the light, Jesus Christ, being born at Christmas.

Starting Lent with the brightness of six candles, the darkness grows as a candle is extinguished each week in anticipation of Jesus dying on the cross on Good Friday.

The Church of the Epiphany Oakville begins both worship services on Sundays during Lent with the Tenebrae liturgy.

Each week, two readers remind the congregation of why it is being done, including our relationship with God, creation, justice and joy. After the candle is extinguished, the congregation responds with confessions, renewals and transformations.

If you are interested in learning more about Tenebrae and using the liturgy in your parish, contact Epiphany below.