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Time: Apr 7, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Tuesday in Holy Week
Prayers for the Evening and Tenebrae
April 7, 2020, 7:00 p.m.

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
York, PA

You will have the opportunity to light three candles and extinguish two during the service as a visible reminder that Christ overcomes the darkness through his Resurrection.

The Gathering

We gather “in darkness”.  The officiant begins the service by saying


Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins;


His mercy endures forever.


The officiant continues by reading the following passage of scripture.

If I say, "Surely the darkness will cover me, and the light around me turn to night," darkness is not dark to you, O Lord; the night is as bright as the day; darkness and light to you are both alike.    Psalm 139:10-11        

Officiant          Let us pray.

Almighty and most merciful God, kindle within us the fire of love, that by its cleansing flame we may be purged of all our sins and made worthy to worship you in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

You are now invited to light the three candles.  After the lighting of the candles, the following is said in unison

O Gracious Light    Phos hilaron
O gracious light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of Life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.

The officiant continues by saying

They divide my garments among them;
They cast lots for my clothing.

Psalm 2
is now said in unison






Why are the nations in an uproar? *
    Why do the peoples mutter empty threats?




Why do the kings of the earth rise up in revolt,
and the princes plot together, *
    against the LORD and against his Anointed?




"Let us break their yoke," they say; *
    "let us cast off their bonds from us."




He whose throne is in heaven is laughing; *
    the Lord has them in derision.




Then he speaks to them in his wrath, *
    and his rage fills them with terror.




"I myself have set my king *
   upon my holy hill of Zion."




Let me announce the decree of the LORD: *
    he said to me, "You are my Son;
    this day have I begotten you.




Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for
                             your inheritance *
    and the ends of the earth for your possession.




You shall crush them with an iron rod *
   and shatter them like a piece of pottery."




And now, you kings, be wise; *
    be warned, you rulers of the earth.




Submit to the LORD with fear, *
    and with trembling bow before him;




Lest he be angry and you perish; *
    for his wrath is quickly kindled.



Happy are they all *
    who take refuge in him!



A Reading from the Treatise of Saint Augustine the Bishop on the Psalms.                                                                                                   [Vulgate Psalm 54. Prayer Book Psalm 55:1,2,10c]

“For I have seen unrighteousness and strife in the city.” See the glory of the cross itself. On the brow of kings that cross is now placed, the cross which enemies once mocked. Its power is shown in the result. He has conquered the world, not by steel, but by wood. The wood of the cross seemed a fitting object of scorn to his enemies, and standing before that wood they wagged their heads, saying, “If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” He stretched out his hands to an unbelieving and rebellious people. If one is just who lives by faith, one who does not have faith is unrighteous. Therefore when he says “unrighteousness,” understand that it is unbelief. The Lord then saw unrighteousness and strife in the city, and stretched out his hands to an unbelieving and rebellious people. And yet, looking upon them, he said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

One candle is extinguished



Officiant      See how the righteous one perishes,
People          and no one takes it to heart.

Officiant      The righteous are taken away, and no one understands. From the face of evil the righteous one is taken away, and his memory shall be in peace. Like a sheep before its shearers is mute, so he opened not his mouth.

People          By oppression and judgment he was taken away: And his memory shall be in peace.


Psalm 150 is now said in unison

1 Praise God in his holy temple; * praise him in the firmament of his power.

2 Praise him for his mighty acts; * praise him for his excellent greatness.

3 Praise him with the blast of the ram’s-horn; * praise him with lyre and harp.

4 Praise him with timbrel and dance; * praise him with strings and pipe.

5 Praise him with resounding cymbals; * praise him with loud-clanging cymbals.

6 Let everything that has breath * praise the Lord.


Officiant      O Death, I will be your death;
People          O Grave, I will be your destruction.

Officiant      My flesh also shall rest in hope:
People          You will not let your holy One see corruption.

One more candle is extinguished


Christus factus est is now said in unison

Christ for us became obedient unto death, even death on a cross; therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the Name which is above every name.

A brief silence is observed.


Officiant      Let us pray.

Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross.


One candle is left burning to remind us of the presence of Christ in the darkness of this world.  We “exit” by the light of this candle.  The service will conclude without additional comment of words from the officiant.


The name Tenebrae (the Latin word for “darkness” or “shadows”) has for centuries been applied to the ancient monastic night and early morning services (Matins and Lauds) of the last three days of Holy Week, which in medieval times came to be celebrated on the preceding evenings. We are celebrating an adapted form this year to fit our needs.