Tenebrae Service

The word tenebrae is Latin for shadows. The traditions regarding this service go back to at least the ninth century. MBC observes Tenebrae to recreate the betrayal, abandonment, and agony of the events surrounding Jesus’ crucifixion and death. The time is left unfinished with silence and darkness because the story isn’t over until Easter morning. 

Tenebrae includes seven candles with seven corresponding readers. Six black candles plus one white candle that represents Christ. Each reader reads select scriptures and extinguishes one of the black candles until only the Christ candle remains. Finally, the congregation reads through the last seven statements Jesus said on the cross. Following, the seventh candle, the Christ candle, is put out, leaving darkness—devastation—and silence.

Filmed Spring 2020 during the Coronavirus pandemic while most of the US, Midland included, was practicing social distancing to flatten the curve and slow the spread of the virus.