Maundy Thursday, The Office of Tenebrae
April 15, 2022
The Maundy Thursday Order of Holy Communion is an adaptation of an ancient service of worship often observed on consecutive evenings of Holy Week. We are invited to enter silently and meditate on the night of Jesus’ arrest when he sat at table with his disciples for the last time and was ushered toward the shadow of the cross. Tenebrae means ‘darkness’ or ‘shadow;’ the gradual extinguishing of candlelight symbolizes the encroaching shadows that fell across the life of Jesus, commemorates the flight of his disciples, and remembers the approach of the dark hate of Jesus’ enemies who sought to snuff out his radical hospitality, ministry, and love. The moment of total darkness summons us toward the tomb. From first to last, it is a solemn observance.