Good Friday may have originally been called “God’s Friday,” but it is certainly also “good” because of the good gifts Christ won for us on this day. Good Friday is not observed as a funeral for Christ, but as a day for repentance over sin and restrained joy and praise for the redemption Christ accomplished for us on the cross.
The services of Holy Week are tied together and best viewed as one worship service. Therefore as you enter the sanctuary you will notice the candles are lit and there is no Invocation or Benediction.
In the service of “Tenebrae” (darkness) candles are extinguished to symbolize our Lord’s descent into death for our sins. The harsh sound (called “Strepitus” in Latin) has a variety of interpretations, including the scourging by the soldiers, the earthquake at the moment of Christ’s death, or the closing of the tomb.
One must not attend a Tenebrae service without also returning to celebrate the victory of Christ on Easter morning; else we remain in our sadness, unsure of our victory in Jesus. The forces of hell do not and shall not prevail against the Light of Christ. His resurrection is sure. He lives eternally. And we, too, shall live!
(From Trinity Lutheran Church, Gillette, WY Good Friday Tenebrae service)