A few years back I had just finished Jamie Smith's incredible book Desiring the Kingdom. In that book he described his experience at a Tenebrae service and I was incredibly moved by that description. I started studying the history of that service and a couple years ago we started working on our version of a Tenebrae liturgy.
Working off more recent Protestant revisions of this service we decided to begin the service at the Garden of Gethsemane and work our way to the Passion. Along the way we'd honor the tradition of extinguishing lights until the Passion where we'd conclude with final words of Jesus over the strepitus. The strepitus (Latin for "great noise") was a traditional way of concluding the service where they would stomp on the floor, slam a book shut or bang on the pew to symbolize the earthquake upon Jesus' death.
In Jamie Smith's retelling of his experience he talked about a cacophonous horn section in the back of the sanctuary that would create the strepitus and then conclude in blackness where the church would walk out of the building in silence. I knew right away that we MUST do that and if there's one thing our band is pretty good at, it's making loud crazy noises.
We've now done two of these types of services for Good Friday now and I can honestly say they have been the most impactful services I've ever been part of. We're really excited to share some moments from this service. We'll be releasing both audio and video over the next few weeks. Until then my friends.