Good Friday Tenebrae Service

Good Friday Tenebrae Service

St. Paul United Church of Christ,

Taylor, Michigan

April 14, 2017 – 12 Noon


PRELUDE Sally Sigman, Organist

As the congregation enters the sanctuary, please maintain a reverent silence

as you seat yourself within the cross that marks our sanctuary pews.

OPENING HYMN (insert 195)  “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”


And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world,

and we loved the darkness rather than light.

God is light, in whom there is no darkness at all.

For God sent his Son into the world, not to condemn the world,

but that the world might be saved through him.

Every one who does evil hates the light,

and does not come to the light,

but all who do what is true come to the light.

Come, let is worship in spirit and in truth.

GREETING FOR GOD’S FRIDAY  Rev. Dr. Geoffrey G. Drutchas

HYMN No. 548)  “The Old Rugged Cross”


LORD’S PRAYER (debts, debtors)

SOLO  “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded”  Mark Ennis, Soloist


   Lectors: Pastor Cheryl Schalm, Matthew Isaacs, Lois Rice, Fred Miller,  

   Grace Wangbickler, Helen St. Louis, Dawn Vacheresse, Barbara Schultz,  

   Aaron Johnson, Eileen Vernor Drutchas, and Rev. Geoffrey Durtchas.

   During our noontime Tenebrae, Christ’s passion, suffering, and sacrifice

   are remembered.  As each significant moment on his final, fateful day is    

   recalled, another candle is extinguished, leaving our chancel in darkness.



As the church bell is tolled and worship leaders and lectors depart down the center aisle, the congregation is invited to come forward to lay their purple flower at the foot of the cross and then depart in reverent silence through the front doors of the church, maintaining vigil until Easter’s dawn.


 “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”

When I survey the wondrous cross on which the

Prince of glory died, my richest gain I

count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, save in the

death of Christ, my God; all the vain things that

charm me most I sacrifice them to his blood.

See, from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and

love flow mingled down!  Did e’er such love and

sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a

present far too small; love so amazing,

so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.



Our noontime witness to Jesus’ death on the cross is a Tenebrae Service. Tenebrae” means darkness or shadow and refers to the custom of successively extinguishing candles as the story of Jesus’ final hours is progressively told.  Tenebrae Services are usually held in the evening. But our church and others have followed the practice of also offering a Tenebrae Service mid-day, coinciding with the afternoon hours of Jesus’ crucifixion when scripture tells us the “whole country” was plunged into darkness.   (Matthew 27:45)