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At-Home Good Friday Tenebrae Service

By admin


While we cannot meet in person, it is still important for us as Christ-followers to pause during this Holy Week to remember what Christ did for us on the Cross. In many ways it is even more important during this season of uncertainty to pause and remember the way our Savior suffered for us. Therefore, we have outlined a Tenebrae Home Edition service for you to participate in wherever you find yourself. We encourage you to have your own Tenebrae Service sometime in the evening of Good Friday.

This service is meant to focus our hearts on remembering the death of Jesus, and the suffering he endured on the cross. The word “tenebrae” comes from the Latin meaning “darkness.” A Tenebrae Service is a Good Friday service that makes use of gradually diminishing light to symbolize the approaching darkness of Jesus’ death and of hopelessness in the world without God. Worshipers leave worship in silence to ponder the impact of Christ’s death and await the coming Resurrection.

Before you Begin

  • Collect either 5 candles, lamps, or other light sources such as flashlights. You can mix and match, but you need 5 light sources that you can easily extinguish or turn off during the service.
  • There are pre-chosen songs for you to play as you ponder and reflect on the death of our Lord. You can play the songs on Spotify at this link, our they are embedded below. If you choose this option, pause after each song and make sure the shuffle is turned off. Or you can click through the YouTube songs linked/ embedded below. Feel free to sing along, or merely listen and reflect on the words.
  • You will need a Bible. Below are scripture passages you will read. Take turns as a family reading the various scriptures, encourage all members of the family who can read to read a portion.
    • If you have young children and have a Jesus Story Book Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones, at the bottom you will find a service designed around the use of this storybook Bible. If you choose to use this version, pre-mark in your Bible with a sticky note or sheet of paper where to stop, this will help your service to flow easier.
  • Lastly, remember this is about remembering and reflecting on Jesus’ death individually and as a family. Don’t worry about if things go perfectly or not. The beauty of this being done at home is that it can be adapted to the needs of your family dynamic. If you need to pause after each scripture reading to answer questions, feel free to do so. Follow the order below, and do your best, but don’t forget the purpose – to remember Christ’s death.

At the conclusion of the service, after you blow out or extinguish the last light source, sit in silence for 30-60 seconds, reflecting on the scriptures that were read. Close the service by having one of the family members pray.

Join us Easter Sunday morning at 10:30 on Facebook or YouTube, as we together celebrate Jesus’ resurrection!

You can either, download the Tenebrae Guide or click through each step below.