Holy Week Services at Christ Lutheran

The Pastor at Christ Lutheran Church of Boulder City wants all to know about the activities they have planned in town upcoming for Holy Week.

  • Thursday, April 14th there will be a ‘Living Last Supper’ at Faith Cristian Church, 1100 Buchanan Blvd. starting at 7pm
  • Friday, April 15th will be Good Friday services at Christ Lutheran at 7pm
  • Sunday April 17th will be Easter services at Christ Lutheran at 9:30am

Here also is some additional information specifically about the Good Friday services, also known as “Tenebrae”, which is a religious service of Western Christianity held during the three days preceding Easter Day, and characterized by gradual extinguishing of candles, and by a “strepitus” or “loud noise” taking place in total darkness near the end of the service.

The basic structure of the ritual for Tenebrae is the alternation of readings and extinguishing candles. 

The Tenebrae Service is filled with symbolism.  There are seven candles which are extinguished.  The number seven represents completeness, and this represents the completeness of Christ’s sacrifice of himself for our sins.  The eighth candle which remains lit is the “Christ candle.”  Lutherans often refer to the day when Jesus will come again as the “eighth day.”  This is because His return will be the beginning of a new creation.  Just as in a week of seven days, the eighth day is also the first.  For this reason, the number eight represents renewal, new creation, resurrection, and eternal life.  The “Christ candle” is the eighth candle because it is he who won these things for us and brings them to us.

The gradual extinguishing of the candles is to remind us of the gathering darkness which covered the earth when Jesus hung on the cross and the disappearance of his disciples as he suffered and died.  The candle representing Christ remains burning until the end of the service to symbolize that even in the midst of death and darkness the forces of hell shall not prevail against the Light of Christ.

As we leave the church in silence at the end of the service, the church bell tolls, much like it does at the funerals of many Christians.  This is to remind us that “If we have been united with Jesus in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.”  (Romans 6:5)  For Christ, Friday evening is not the last word.  He does not remain in the tomb.  He will rise again on the Third Day.  Similarly for all who believe in him, our grave is not the last word.  Just as he rose on the third day, so we will rise also when he returns on the Last Day.

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