Leigh Hatts  

Spy Wednesday: Tenebrae

Wednesday of Holy Week is Spy Wednesday and so-called because Judas betrays Jesus.

Judas is paid by enemies for his information that Jesus will be almost alone on Thursday.

This is such a poignant day that it has become customary for many churches to hold this evening the ancient service known as Tenebrae.

Tenebrae means shadows and tonight’s service has many graphic references to Judas.

Fifteen candles are extinguished during the two hours of haunting music and readings.

The late art critic Brian Sewell described Tenebrae as “the most disturbing and convincing service” which was also “poetic, theatrical and terrible”.

Wednesday Evening Tenebrae in London

St Mary Moorfields, EC2, 6pm

St Dunstan-in-the-West, Fleet Street EC4, 7pm

St Paul’s Covent Garden, WC2, 7.30pm

All Saints, Margaret Street, W1, 7.30pm

St John’s Smith Square, SW1, 10.15pm