The candles are extinguished one by one during the course of the service. The traditions regarding alexandrian book of shadows pdf service go back at least to the ninth century.
Originally celebrated after midnight, by the late Middle Ages their celebration was anticipated on the afternoon or evening of the preceding day. Lauds, though Matins alone could still be anticipated to the day before, later than the hour of Vespers. Good Friday and Holy Saturday, including the typical ceremonies such as the extinguishing of candles, and each of these three services anticipated on the previous day, were widely celebrated as an integral part of the liturgy of Holy Week in churches with a sufficient number of clergy wherever the Roman rite was followed. A rich tradition of music composed for these central occasions had developed.