Good Friday Tenebrae Service – Zion Ev. Lutheran Church, Clyman WI – April 7, 2023

 The word Tenebrae means darkness or shadows.  The Tenebrae service dates back to the 7th or 8th century A.D., with the sanctuary becoming darker as the service progresses.  This is to signify and remind us of the consequences of sin along with the magnitude of our Saviors sacrifice for us and for our sin.  The 7 candles which will be extinguished one by one, remind us not only of the slow death of our Lord as He shed His innocent blood, but also the darkness which covered the earth when He died.  The Christ candle remains burning even though it will be removed from the sanctuary symbolizing our Lord’s death.  It will return still lit, reminding us that in the middle of death and darkness in our lives, the Light of Christ our Savior burns brightly.  His resurrection is sure.  He is the Lord of Life who lives for all eternity.  The Strepitus-the loud noise at the end of the service- has come to signify the closing of our Lord’s tomb.  There is no benediction to end our service today.  Good Friday loses all significance apart from Easter.  The Tenebrae service properly ends on an “incomplete” note, anticipating it’s completion with the joyful Easter message- “He is Risen!”

At the end of our service today, please leave quietly without talking or visiting.  This maintains the spirit of the service and the solemn time of our Lord being on the cross from noon until His death at 3:pm.

The Candles are lit

Welcome and Opening Announcements

Invocation and Opening Prayer – In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen

Almighty God, Heavenly Father, we, Your children, ask You to look with mercy on us, for whom Your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, to be bound, to be given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death on the cross where He shed His innocent blood for sinners like us.  Because of His obedience to You will, He arose and now sits at Your right hand ruling over all things for our good.  We pray this in His name who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

 We Confess our sin and hear God’s Gracious Forgiveness 

Heavenly Father, I have sinned and have fallen short of Your perfect will.  Christ Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.  Surely there is no one righteous on earth who does good and never sins.  Christ Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.   Like David, we must say, “We have sinned greatly in what we have done.  But now, O Lord, we pray that You would take away the sins of Your servants, for we have done foolish and sinful things.”  Christ Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.  Like Paul, we must say, “For I know that good itself dos not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out or do it.” Christ Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.”  Heavenly Father, I am sorry for my sin, and ask I for Your mercy through Jesus Christ my Lord.  This is love; not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  As a called and ordained servant of the Word, I announce the Grace of God unto all of you, and in the stead and by the ……Amen

Hymn  vs 1 & 2   “Jesus, I Will Ponder Now” LSB 440

First Nocturn

Isaiah 53:8

Luke 23:33-34


Piano Solo  “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”

Homily on our Lord’s First words- Word of Forgiveness; “Father Forgive them…”

A Candle is Extinguished

Second Nocturn

Psalm 57:1-3 –  Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge.  I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.  I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me.  He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me; God sends his love and his faithfulness.

Luke 23:39-43

Hymn  *vs1 & 4*   “Glory Be to Jesus”  LSB 433

Homily on our Lord’s Second words- Words of Promise!  “Today, you will be…”

A Candle is Extinguished

Third Nocturn

Psalm 57:9-11 – I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples.  For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.  Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.

John 19:25-27

Hymn  *vs1*  “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted”  LSB 451

Homily on our Lord’s Third words- Words of Provision   “Women behold your son, Behold your mother.”

A Candle is Extinguished

Fourth Nocturn

Psalm 22:1-8 – My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?  Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?  O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent.  Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel.  In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.  They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed.  But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people.  All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: “He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him.  Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”

Mark 15:33-37

Hymn  *vs2*  “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted”     LSB 451

Homily on our Lord’s Fourth words- Words of ???- Eloi, Eloi lama Sabachthani?”

A Candle is Extinguished

Fifth Nocturn

Psalm 22:14-19 – I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.  My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me.  My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.  Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.  I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.  They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.  But you, O Lord, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.

John 19:28

Hymn  *vs3*  “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted”     LSB 451

Homily on our Lord’s Fifth Words-Words of Fulfillment- “I Thirst”

A Candle is Extinguished

Sixth Nocturn

John 19:30

Hymn *vs3*  “We Sing the Praise of Him Who Died”  LSB 429

Homily on our Lord’s Sixth Words- Words of Completion- “It is Finished!”

A Candle is Extinguished

Seventh Nocturn

Psalm 27:1-5 – The Lord is my light and my salvation–whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life–of whom shall I be afraid?  When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.  Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.  One thing I ask of the Lord,  this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.  For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.

Luke 23:44-46a

Hymn *vs6*  “We Sing the Praise of Him Who Died” LSB 429

Homily on our Lord’s Seventh and final words- Words of Confidence-“Father into Your hands I commit My spirit!”

John 19:31-42

The Final Candle is Extinguished

Closing Collect – Almighty and everlasting God, it was Your will that Your Son bear for us the pain of the cross.  In His suffering and death, He removed from us our slavery to sin, and the power of our adversary, satan.  Help us to remember and give thanks for our Lord’s Passion that we may receive remission of our sin, and redemption from everlasting death.  We pray this through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

We Whisper the Lord’s Prayer

 The Christ Candle is removed from the Sanctuary

The Strepitus is heard

The Christ Candle returns to the Sanctuary

Please leave in silence remembering our Lord was still hanging on His cross shedding His blood and dying for us until the Ninth hour, or 3pm.

Plan on joining your brothers and sisters on Easter morning at 6:30am or 8:30am where the story of God’s love for us continues with the news;    “He is Risen!”