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Good Friday Tenebrae Vespers


April 14, 2017
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Good Friday is part of the sacred Triduum, the three-day observance of Christ’s Passion. The name may originally have been “God’s Friday,” but it is certainly also “good” because of the good gifts Christ won for us on this day.

Good Friday is not observed as a funeral for Christ. It is a day of repentance over sin and restrained joy and praise for the redemption Christ accomplished for us on the cross. In keeping with this character, music is kept to a minimum, though not silenced. Elaborate words of praise are omitted. The altar remains bare, having been stripped on Holy Thursday.

The service of Tenebrae (meaning ‘”darkness”) consists of the extinguishing of the church lights. Historically it occurred early in the morning at the Offices of Matins and Lauds on all three days of the Triduum. In recent times, the service has been observed only on the evening of Good Friday. Because the service is part of the Triduum, it has neither entrance rite nor benediction.