On 1 April 2021 (Holy Thursday), an all-night vigil was kept in memory of the last sleepless night of our Lord on earth. This service is called Khavaroum (Darkness). Before He was arrested, Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and endured in solitude the agony of His impending death.
The heart of the service consists of six repeating liturgical cycles, each comprising the singing of Psalms, verses from the hymn Aysor Anjar, and a Gospel reading, depicting Christ’s betrayal, imprisonment, torture, trial, sentence, and crucifixion.
A candle, representing Jesus, is placed in a tall candlestick in the center of the bema in front of the closed curtain. Twelve candles representing the disciples are placed in shorter candlesticks on either side of the tall candle in two rows of six. Twelve lit candles, 11 white and 1 black (representing Judas), are extinguished in pairs.
When all the candles are out, the church falls into darkness (khavaroum) representing the state of the world without the light of our Lord Jesus Christ.