The Shadows

The Shadows is a powerful exploration of Christ’s Passion in scripture and song. 

The Shadow of Crucifixion at Church of the Servant, 2016

The Shadows

Based on the ancient Tenebrae service, The Shadows features seven readings from the Gospel of Matthew that follow the deepening shadow of death as Jesus moves closer to the cross. After each reading, a musical interlude is played by a cello ensemble–first seven cellos, then six, then five, until only one cello remains. As each cellist leaves, another candle is extinguished, a vivid visual image of the depth of the darkness that engulfed Jesus. Each interlude holds a musical mirror to the passion of Jesus’ final hours–poignant and dark, but always with a glimmer of hope.

The Service

The Shadows is led by its composer, Greg Scheer. The seven scripture readings and music interludes are about 30 minutes long, so services often begin with congregational singing, include a sermon, or end with communion. Consider hosting The Shadows in your church’s Holy Week services this year. Greg will work with your church leadership to craft a service that fits your church’s needs.

The Shadows will be a fresh, artistic immersion into the Passion of Christ, drawing your congregation into the story with new ears and eyes.

Contact to schedule The Shadows at your church.

The Shadow of Desertion at Calvin CRC, 2019

The Seven Movements

The Shadow of Betrayal: Matthew 26:20-25
The Shadow of Desertion: Matthew 26:30-35
The Shadow of an Unshared Vigil: Matthew 26:36-46
The Shadow of Accusation: Matthew 27:11-14, 20-26
The Shadow of Crucifixion: Matthew 27:27-37
The Shadow of Death: Matthew 27:45-54
The Shadow of the Tomb: Matthew 27:57-60

What People are Saying:

The Shadows was wonderfully effective at our Good Friday service. The cellos emoted eloquently—beyond anything that words could express. (Mary Speyer, Fuller Ave Church)

The service was very moving and helped us focus on Christ’s passion and death. (Mary Bardolph, Calvin CRC)

Disturbing and amazing. (Ruth Van Stee, Fuller Ave Church)

“The Shadows” anchored a powerful Maundy Thursday evening worship service for our congregation. Greg and the ensemble of cellists led us well. The structure of the piece, with cellists leaving the room as the darkness deepened, brought the passion narrative alive for us in a new way. (Rebecca Jordan Heys, Pastor, Calvin CRC)