Historic Trinity
Historic Trinity Altar for the 2005 Tenebrae Service.  Paraments date back to the 1800s

Good Friday

Good Friday, the Friday of Holy Week in the calendar of the Christian churches, is set apart to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus. The earliest name for this day, “Pascha,” refers to the Jewish Passover celebrated at this time. In the beginning the day’s observances grew out of this Jewish Passover custom of keeping “the days of unleavened bread” from the fourteenth to the twenty-first Nisan. Other names were: “Day of the Lord’s Passion,” Day of the Absolution,” and “Day of the Cross.” The name “Good Friday” is a peculiarly English expression. It reflects the joy of completed redemption and protests against superstitious notions that all Fridays are “unlucky” and that this particular Friday must be shrouded in funeral gloom. Although, it is more probably derived from a corruption of “God’s Friday.” It was called “Long Friday” by the Saxons and Danes, apparently in allusion to the long services held on that day in the churches. In medieval days, notably in Spain, the churches were closed on this day as a sign of mourning.

Good Friday Worship Services reflect the character of solemn, restrained praise. The church services held today, on Good Friday, differ but slightly from each other. In all, are read or chanted the Scriptures relating to the Passion of Christ, most using the Gospel of John chapters 18:1 through 19:42. Many have Tre Ore Services that last for three hours, from 12:00 Noon to 3:00 pm. The Tre Ore Services are usually composed of a Good Friday Litany, the reading of the Passion according to St. John, sermons on the Passion or the Seven Last Words of Jesus on the Cross, and the Bidding Prayer. The germ of the Bidding Prayer may be found in the worship of the Jewish synagogue, where prayers were offered for members of the Jewish community and their needs. The early Christians expanded the idea. Justin Martyr in the second century speaks of such a prayer as the "Deacon’s Litany " or the "Prayer of the Faithful." The text of today's Bidding Prayer probably dates from the time of Leo the Great in the fifth century.

Easter Processional Cross

Following the Good Friday Tenebrae Service, the Processional Crucifix, made in the 1700's and used in our second church building in 1866, is removed.

During the Easter Season, the Memorial Processional Cross is used, which symbolizes the empty cross, “For He Is Risen.” The Memorial Processional Cross is used in all worship services from Easter Sunday until Ascension Day and is used during the Lutheran Veterans Worship Service. The cross was given by Rev. Arthur Kreinheder, in memory of those service men of Historic Trinity who were killed in action in World War II. They were Arnold Stowszkop (North Carolina), Clarence Hohl and Harold Hartmann (Philippines), Robert Mann (Germany), and Thomas Klix and Gunther Pollack (Pacific). The name of James Ellison Scott, a member of Historic Trinity who was killed in action in the Vietnam War, has been added to the Memorial Processional Cross.

Move your mouse over the Good Friday Crucifix on the right and watch it change to the Easter Processional Cross. If you click on either image, you will be at a page explaining Easter's background and customs.

Dr. Eberhard (wearing the pallium stole) sealing the doors after the Tre Ore Service on Good Friday

Sealing the Doors

Following the daytime (Tre Ore) Worship Services at Historic Trinity, we exit the church proper and assemble on Gratiot Avenue in front of the doors of the church. Then a symbolic seal will be placed on the front door of the church to symbolize the sealing of the tomb of the Lord Jesus Christ. You are invited to return for the early Easter Sunday Worship Service when we will symbolically unseal the church doors and enter in the church to celebrate the Festival of the Resurrection.

Black Good Friday Paraments and Vestments

The altar, pulpit, bookmark, and black paraments used this Good Friday were made in the 1860's and used in our second church built in 1866. Dr. Eberhard is wearing a pallium type of pastoral stole.

Good Friday Tre Ore Services in Pictures

Take a virtual visit to the solemn Tre Services at Historic Trinity. These images are best viewed in Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. Just click on the thumbprint of the image to see a larger version of it. Then click on the "back" button of your browser to return to the image index.

If the images are in slideshow format, you can let them move at their own pace, or click on the thumbprint on the left your screen to move the display at your own pace.

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Tenebrae Service

The evening Good Friday service is usually the Tenebrae Service. The ancient office of Tenebrae, Latin for darkness, is intended to bring to mind and heart, by word and symbol, the closing hours of our Lord’s suffering and death. Seven lighted candles represent the ebbing life of the Crucified. As each word from the cross is heard, one by one the candles are extinguished. The Strepitus is sounded with the roll of a timpani, representing the closing of the tomb. One candle remains burning throughout the service to symbolize that even in the midst of death and darkness the forces of hell shall not prevail against the light of Christ.

Tenebrae Service in Pictures

Take a virtual visit to this solemn worship service at Historic Trinity. Just follow this link, and you will see thumbprints of images of the service. Just click on the one you would like enlarged. Then click on the back button of your browser to return to the image index page.

2005 Tenebrae Service in Pictures

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Historic Trinity Lutheran Church
1345 Gratiot Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48207
Phone:(800) 268-3058 (Michigan Only) or (313) 567-3100
Fax:(313) 567-3209
Email: Historic Trinity