Holy Week Worship
Tenebrae Service at 7 p.m. Christ’s passion from the Gospel of Matthew.
Tenebrae services, which are held in the last three days of holy week, go back to at least the 9th century. The word “tenebrae” is Latin for “shadows” or “darkness,” and the service is marked by the gradual extinguishing of candles/lights in a specified order. The Presbyterian Church of Okemos service includes an observation of The Lord’s Supper, dramatic readings of scripture, music from the Chancel choir and reading the passion of Christ as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. By the end of the succession of readings, all candles/lights have been extinguished, and the worship space is shrouded in darkness, except for lighting of the empty cross, recalling the days when Jesus was in the tomb. Worshipers leave the service in silence, for the worship service does not fully conclude until Easter morning when we acclaim Christ’s victory with our ‘Alleluias’.