- Written by Tom Miles Tom Miles
- Created: April 02 2021 April 02 2021
Good Friday stands at the heart and center of the Holy Triduum (the “Great Three Days”) even as Christ’s death on the cross stands at the heart and center of the Christian faith and life. Tonight’s service is marked by the Church’s deepest humility and most solemn reverence, for she gives her attention to the cross and Passion of her dear Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Her sorrow and contrition do not give way to despair, however; nor does she mourn the death of Christ. Rather, in repentant faith, the Church gives thanks for Christ’s atoning sacrifice and lays hold of His redemption in the hearing of His Gospel.
The “Order of Tenebrae” is an early Christian order of worship traditionally utilized in the observance of Good Friday. Tenebrae is Latin for “darkness” or “in the shadows,” and the service is characterized by the gradual removal of light from the sanctuary as the scriptural accounts approach the moment of the death of our Lord. As the last candle is extinguished and the Paschal Candle removed, noting the death of the Savior, a loud sound will be heard. This represents that point in human history when the tomb was closed. Following the silent prayer at the close of the service, we depart in silence as we retire to our homes in contemplation of the meaning of Christ’s death for us and in the certain hope of the Easter victory soon to be celebrated.
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