First Presbyterian Church of Santa Rosa

    Preparing to Engage in this Service

    We recommend doing this worship service after sundown. You will need seven lighted candles placed about the room and either a snuffer or some means to extinguish the candles. There are seven sections with a three-fold pattern in each section: (1) Listen to the Scripture Reading;
    (2) Respond by singing or praying as prompted; (3) Extinguish a candle.

    This service follows an early Christian observance called Tenebrae - Latin for “darkness or shadows.” We are invited to reflect deeply on the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion and death. The service framework includes a gradual extinguishing of seven candles as we recount the sufferings and death of Jesus on our behalf and for our salvation. When the final candle is extinguished and we are left in total darkness, sit for a while in solemn stillness and silence before you transition away from the worship experience.

    Dramatic readings of the Gospel narrative are presented by Peter Schell.


    The Walk to the Garden - Frederick Delius
    John Pavik, Piano

    The Darkness of Betrayal

    The Gospel According to Matthew 26:20-25, John 13:30

    Hymn: Go to Dark Gethsemane (vv. 1-3)

    John Pavik, Piano
    Cassie Carroll, Chris Studer, Vocals

    Extinguish First Candle

    The Darkness of Desertion

    The Gospel According to Matthew 26:30-35

    Hymn: Ah, Holy Jesus

    John Pavik, Piano
    Jennie Warmack and Chris Studer, Vocals

    Extinguish Second Candle

    The Darkness of Temptation

    The Gospel According to Luke 22:39-46

    Song: Brokenness Aside

    Chris Studer, Piano
    Penny Cleary and Chris Studer, Vocals

    Extinguish Third Candle

    The Darkness of Accusation

    The Gospel According to Mark 14:43, 53-65



    Rev. Emily Stockert

    Extinguish Fourth Candle

    The Darkness of Crucifixion

    The Gospel According to Matthew 27:31-44

    Hymn: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (vv.1-3)

    John Pavik, Piano
    Vocals: Chris Studer

    Extinguish Fifth Candle

    The Darkness of Death

    The Gospel According to Luke 23:44-46

    Song: You Love Us

    Chris Studer, Piano
    Cassie Carroll, Jennie Warmack and Chris Studer, Vocals

    Extinguish Sixth Candle

    The Darkness of Burial

    The Gospel According to Matthew 27:57-60


    Hymn: Were You There?

    John Pavik, Piano
    Chris Studer, Vocals

    Extinguish Seventh Candle

    Hymn: When I Survey The Wondrous Cross (v. 4)

    Solemn Stillness

    Closing Reflection

    Ausklang (Evening Hymn) op. 64 - Richard Strauss
    John Pavik, Piano

    Visit our archive for past worship dates…


    Subscribe to Our Newsletter

    * indicates required
    Email Format

    View previous campaigns.