CENTENARY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
THE TENEBRAE SERVICE
April 10, 2020

The service of Tenebrae follows a tradition of the church dating back to at least the 8th, and perhaps as early as the 5th, century. It dramatizes the suffering, death, and burial of Jesus Christ. The service moves from light to darkness, with the diminishing light symbolizing the fading devotion of the apostles. It is hoped that each person present will become more aware of the sadness and despair that were evident before and during the crucifixion.

This service can be especially effective as the sun is setting and darkness overwhelms the light of day. The service has no benediction; suggesting that each of us contemplate the tragedy of the crucifixion. Jesus, Son of God, is dead; there is nothing more to do but wait–for the day of Resurrection!

If you have a white candle, light it now.

* CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: We do not gather to worship a Christ unfamiliar with our limitations.
People: We come to worship the Christ who took our limitations upon himself.
Leader: We do not gather to worship a Christ who lays his cross upon us.
People: We come to worship the Christ who takes our cross upon himself.
All: O come, let us worship the Christ who reveals the divinity of true humanity!

* HYMN OF CONTEMPLATION
“When I survey the Wondrous Cross” No. 298
     Hymn is available by clicking here

PRAYER OF INVOCATION

O Christ, help us relive this day in your life that we may relive your life in our day. You went to your death–the innocent for the guilty, the gentle for the violent, the obedient for the rebellious–never opening your mouth. Now we have learned that, before our world can experience a resurrection like yours, we must experience a death like yours. Teach us how to die as you died, O Christ, what we might live as you lived–for God, enduring the cross.

LITANY

Leader: On this, a most faithful and a most fateful day in the long history of God’s people, we reach the climax in the unfolding drama of the life and ministry of Jesus.
People: We confess, O Lord, that this is a fateful day because we are part of faithless humanity.
Leader: We have been too much like the innkeeper, who could not find room in his inn for Jesus; and the rich young ruler, who could not find room in his life for Jesus; and even Herod, who could not find room in his world for Jesus.
People: We confess, O Lord, that this is a fateful day because we are part of faithless humanity.
Leader: We have been too much like James and John, who promised to follow you, but demanded the choice seats in your kingdom; and Peter, who hailed you as the Christ, but denied knowing the suffering servant; and even Judas, who loved you much, but betrayed you for thirty pieces of silver.
People: We confess, O Lord, that this is a fateful day because we are part of faithless humanity.
Leader: We have been too much like Pilate who wanted to release Jesus, but released Barabbas; and Pilate who could find no fault in Jesus, but left him to the mercy of those who did; and even Pilate who could have prevented the crucifixion, but chose instead to wash his hands.
People: We confess, O Lord, that this is a fateful day because we are part of faithless humanity.
Leader: As we recall the cross you chose to bear in taking our side, we remember the crosses we have shunned to avoid taking your side.
All: O Christ, who was faithful to God unto death, grant us the grace to be faithful unto you in life.

THE SHADOW OF BETRAYAL
Scripture Reading Matthew 26: 45-56
Scripture is available by clicking here
HYMN: ” ‘Tis Midnight, and on Olive’s Brow”
Hymn is available by clicking here

THE SHADOW OF INTERROGATION
Scripture Reading Matthew 26: 57-68
Scripture is available by clicking here
HYMN: “Ah, Holy Jesus” No. 289
 Hymn is available by clicking here

THE SHADOW OF DENIAL
Scripture Reading Matthew 26: 69-75
     Scripture is available by clicking here
HYMN: “In the Hour of Trial”
Hymn is available by clicking here

THE SHADOW OF REMORSE
Scripture Reading Matthew 27: 1-5
Scripture is available by clicking here
HYMN: “What a Wondrous Love Is This” No. 292
Hymn is available by clicking here

THE SHADOW OF JUDGMENT
Scripture Reading Matthew 27: 11-23
Scripture is available by clicking here
HYMN: “Go to Dark Gethsemane” No. 290
Hymn is available by clicking here

THE SHADOW OF MOCKERY
Scripture Reading Matthew 27: 24-44
Scripture is available by clicking here
HYMN: “O Love Divine, What Hast Thou Done” No. 287
Hymn is available by clicking here

THE SHADOW OF SUFFERING
Scripture Reading Matthew 27: 45-54
Scripture is available by clicking here
HYMN: “Were You There?” No. 288
Hymn is available by clicking here

THE SHADOW OF DEATH
Scripture Reading Matthew 27: 55-61
Scripture is available by clicking here

EXTINGUISHING THE CANDLE
Our Lord is crucified. Go in peace and await a brighter day           

Easter morning, as we come together in spirit in our own homes, the candle is relighted.