Ideas for Tenebrae Service

Last year for our Tenebrae service we followed a typical outline of reading the Easter story and extinguishing candles.  Here’s a few things we did to add some creative ideas to the service.

Represent Jesus as a cross

We had a smaller cross about 6.5 feet tall.  We placed it on stage and then had one actor interact with it as if it was Jesus.  So during the reading of the betrayal, the actor went up and kissed the cross.  During the whipping, he used a belt and whipped the cross.  He spat on it.  Hit the cross with a staff.  (The cross shook back and forth, which was quite moving… you can’t quite do this with actors)  We then laid the cross down, hammered it, and then lifted it back up.  This idea worked really well for us and gave us a nice visual as we were reading the scripture story.

How He Loves + Scripture Reading

We broke up the crucifixion story into little chunks which were acted out then a candle was extinguished, as is usually the case in a Tenebrae service.  What we did was sing the chorus of the song How He Loves us once in between each section of reading.  It was a good way to break up the reading and also give people a way to respond to what was happening.


Reading 1

(How He Loves Us Chorus)

Reading 2

(How He Loves Us Chorus)


This year we will be using the Skit Guys video series called Good Friday to Narrate the Easter Story.


For song choices, we used a few typical songs that fit the Easter theme.

  • Amazing Love
  • How Deep the Father’s Love
  • Once Again
  • Here I am to Worship
  • When I Survey
  • At the foot of the Cross
  • Lead me to the Cross