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Liturgy for Good Friday Tenebrae Service, March 29, 2013


That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them … And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself (Luke 24:13-15, 25-27 ESV).

March 29, 2013

10:00-11:30 AM—Trinity Covenant Reformed Church, Imus, Cavite

1:30-3:00 PM—Pasig Covenant Reformed Church, Pasig, Metro Manila

What is a Tenebrae Service?See Bulletin below Download this liturgy (PDF)


The Death of Christ: Center of Holy Scripture


* Call to Worship — Psalm 22:25-31

* Invocation — Psalm 124:8

* God’s Greeting 

Minister: Grace be unto you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ in the power and fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

People: Amen.

* Opening Prayer

Almighty Father, as we hear your word this day of remembrance, look with mercy on this your family for which our Lord Jesus Christ was content to be betrayed and given up into the hands of sinners and to suffer death upon the cross; who is alive and glorified with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

* Opening Hymn —  “Praise Jehovah, All Ye Nations” (Psalm ) #231:1

The Service of Shadows

Lesson One:

The Seed of the Woman Shall be Bruised by the Serpent — Genesis 3:15; Matthew 1:22-23; Galatians 3:16. 4:4
Psalm — My God, My God, I Cry to Thee  #34:1,8,10 (from Psalm 22)

Lesson Two:

The Passover and the Lord’s Supper — Exodus 12:21-27; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Corinthians 5:7
* Hymn — At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing (6th century Latin hymn; see insert)

Lesson Three:

Jesus Mocked and Scourged — Psalm 22:6-8, 14-18; Mark 15:29-32; John 19:1-7
Psalm — My God, My God, I Cry to Thee #34:6,7,9 (from Psalm 22)

Lesson Four:

Jesus the Suffering Servant — Isaiah 53:1-8; Matthew 16:21, 20:17-19, 26:1-4
* Hymn —  Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed #352:1-4

Lesson Five:

The Shepherd Struck, the Sheep Scattered, the Sheep Refined
Zechariah 13:1, 7-9; John 10:14-18
Psalm — Great Shepherd Who Leadest Thy People in Love #153:1,2,6

Lesson Six:

Jesus Crucified — Deuteronomy 21:22-23; Luke 23:44-49; Galatians 3:13
* Hymn — When I Survey the Wondrous Cross #350:1-4 (Isaac Watts, 1707)

Lesson Seven:

Jesus’ Burial — Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:45-50, 57-60
Departing Hymn — O Sacred Head, Now Wounded #355:1,3,4 (Latin Hymn, 7th cent.)

The Closing Service

Darkening the Place


Closing Prayer

Minister: Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, we pray you to set your passion, cross, and death between your judgment and our souls, now and in the hour of our death.  Give mercy and grace to the living; to your holy Church peace and concord; and to us sinners everlasting life and glory; for with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, one God, now and forever. And all the people said:

People: Amen.

A Time of Silent Meditation

(Please leave in solemn silence. But let us again assemble together on the Lord’s Day to celebrate the Day of Christ’s Resurrection.)


What is a Tenebrae Service? (from Cloverdale United Reformed Church, Boise, Idaho)

A worship service of Tenebrae, from the Latin word for “shadows” or “darkness,” has been observed in the Church since the fourth century, on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday. Tenebrae is a service in which the Scripture readings—and the songs—trace the events of Christ’s passion. Through the service we ponder the cost of our salvation by meditating on the depth of Christ’s suffering, his crucifixion, death and burial. Though the Friday service ends with solemnity we know also of Sunday’s resurrection morning. Thus we may call this evening Good.

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