Tenebrae is a contemplative service which takes place in a dark sanctuary lit only by a number of candles. A series of Scripture readings by those in attendance chronicles Jesus’s final week, ending with his burial. After each reading, a candle is snuffed out. When the final candle, the Christ candle, is taken from the sanctuary, a loud noise, known as the “strepitus” signifies the death of Jesus on the cross. The Christ candle then returns as the final act of the service as a symbol of ultimate victory.
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