The Passion and Death of Christ

Life Night Outline

Goal of this Night

This Life Night will challenge teenagers to recognize the physical, emotional, and spiritual realities of the crucifixion. It will help them understand the necessity for Christ’s Passion and death in order for us to have salvation.

About this night

The structure of this Life Night is different than others within this semester. It uses the structure of a Tenebrae service to proclaim the message of Christ’s Passion and Death. Tenebrae (which means “darkness”) is a service in which the last seven words of Christ recorded in the Gospels are proclaimed. After each reading, a candle is extinguished, bringing the room into deeper darkness. An eighth candle – the Christ Candle – remains lit at the end to signify our hope in the Resurrection. The whole night revolves around this prayer.

During the Tenebrae service, each of the last seven words (or sentences) of Christ will be followed by a short reflection that will also serve as the teaching. Then, the teens will also have an opportunity to journal and pray through music.

Consider assigning various Core Members to each reflection of the Tenebrae service. This will help the Life Night flow and stay fresh with different voices. It is important to assign these reflections to Core Members well in advance of the Life Night so they can adaquetly prepare.

Parental Notice

This week at Life Night we entered into the Passion and Death of Christ in a very unique way. We reflected on the last seven phrases of Jesus Christ and what each means for us in our walk of faith through a Tenebrae prayer service. The entire Life Night focused on this prayer and challenged the teenagers to examine areas of their lives that need to be united to the cross of Christ. At the end of the Life Night, we challenged the teenagers to reflect more deeply on the words that our Lord spoke while on the cross and the impact that they have on each of their lives.

We want to challenge you to do the same. Take some time this week to read over the Scripture passages that we used at Life Night for your own personal prayer. You may want to even consider doing this as a family sometime this week as a follow-up to the Life Night.

The Scripture passages we used for the Life Night were:

Luke 23:33-34

Luke 23:39-43

John 19:25-27

Mark 15:33-34

John 19:28

John 19:29-30

Luke 23:46


The environment for this night should be simple and stark.  A large cross or crucifix should be in the front of the room.  Set up seven small candles on pillars or in stands near the cross. Directly in front of the cross put one large white candle in a stand or on a pillar. If possible, have this candle be a larger size than the other candles, as it will represent the Light of Christ and never be extinguished. Near the front of the room have a projector and a screen set up with the appropriate equipment.  As the teens move from the Gather into the rest of the night, have all the candles lit and all the lights on.  As you move through the Tenebrae service, extinguish one candle and turn out some of the lights so that the room gets progressively darker at the end of each reflection.  After the final words of Christ the room should be in complete darkness with the exception of the single white Christ candle in front of the cross.

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