Today is the day we commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus and his death on Calvary. The source of our term for the Friday before Easter, "Good Friday," is not clear. It may be a corruption of the English phrase "God's Friday."
"Good Friday" is not a universal name for the day. The liturgical title for the day in the Western church was "Friday of Preparation," since the time Jews used the word paraskeue (getting ready) for Friday, meaning the "day of preparation." Popular names for the day are "Holy Friday" among the Latin nations, "Great Friday" among the Slavic peoples, "Friday of Mourning" in Germany, "Long Friday" in Norway, and "Holy Friday" (Viernes Santo) among Hispanic peoples.
The service of Tenebrae, meaning “darkness” or “shadows,” has been practiced by the church since medieval times. Readings trace the story of Christ’s passion and the power of silence and darkness suggests the drama of this momentous day. As lights are extinguished, we ponder the depth of Christ’s suffering and death.
PREPARE FOR WORSHIP
Gather 7 different candles, flashlights, lamps or other lights and place them on a table or other worship space. You will "extinguish" these one by one throughout the service, along with the scripture reader on the screen.
As we commemorate Jesus' death on the cross, make some crafts or artwork that feature the cross: