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TenebrŠ [Holy Week Service]
Women of Faith and Family ^ | n/a | W F-F.org

Posted on 03/26/2007 6:08:07 PM PDT by Salvation

Tenebræ

The Latin word Tenebræ means "darkness." Tenebræ is very ancient service of prayers in the Church which takes place during the darkness of night. Many parishes are now reviving this extraordinarily moving service which consists of three sets of Psalms and verses from the Lamentations of Jeremiah chanted on each of three nights of Holy Week: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. (Originally this was a service of Matins said in monasteries before dawn on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday; but it customarily takes place the evenings before.)

The service begins with the nave of the church in darkness, except for a candelabrum on a stand in the sanctuary, usually containing fifteen candles arranged in an inverted `v', called a `Tenebræ hearse.' As each lamentation, introduced with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, is chanted one of the candles is extinguished until only one, representing the Light of Christ remains. Then this is extinguished, leaving the church in darkness. The ministers and cantor leave the sanctuary, and a loud noise like a thunderclap (representing the earthquake during the Crucifixion) is heard; after which a single candle representing the Light of Christ is brought in, placed on the altar and the people leave in silence.

This is a very impressive service, and we hope you are able to attend with your children at least once during the Triduum. If your parish does not have Tenebræ it is worth trying to find a place that does.

If you have young children you might consider using the adaptation of this service in this book, Stations of the Cross. It is by no means as powerful as real Tenebræ, celebrated in church, but it does retain the symbolism of Christ as our Light, and it may be a workable substitute if your children are little or if the real service is not available where you live. (See Stations of the Cross.)


 



TOPICS: Catholic; History; Prayer; Religion & Culture; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholiclist; tenebrae; triduum
Very interesting to me.

For your consideration and discussion

1 posted on 03/26/2007 6:08:09 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Knitting A Conundrum

Are these the Lamentations you were talking about?


2 posted on 03/26/2007 6:09:45 PM PDT by Salvation (" With God all things are possible. ")
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To: nickcarraway; sandyeggo; Lady In Blue; NYer; american colleen; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ...
Catholic Discussion Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.

3 posted on 03/26/2007 6:11:30 PM PDT by Salvation (" With God all things are possible. ")
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To: Salvation
Tenebræ

Holy Week and the Triduum

Passion (Palm) Sunday

Passiontide and Holy Week

Why Do We Call it the Passion?

The Easter Triduum

The Easter Triduum: Entering into the Paschal Mystery

Holy Week Starts Today - Hosanna to the King of Kings!

The Meaning of Holy Week

The Chrism Mass

Pope Opens Holy Week With Palm Sunday Mass

Holy Week Recovers Celebration of Penance (at St. Peter's Basilica) - photos!

We Will Relive the Passion, Death and Resurrection [Audience with Pope Benedict XVI]

Spiritual Reading for the Sacred Triduum and Easter

Cardinal Arinze on How to Live Holy Week - Urges Spirit of Faith and Gratitude

The Triduum and 40 Days

4 posted on 03/26/2007 6:12:15 PM PDT by Salvation (" With God all things are possible. ")
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To: Salvation

Can Protestants attend? We tend to gloss over the literature of the Old Testament, admittedly. Sounds like a wonderful service.


5 posted on 03/26/2007 6:15:11 PM PDT by IslandJeff (There will be Democrats in heaven, except they'll be too busy organizing the staff)
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To: Salvation

This does sound interesting. I will enquire if my local parishes have such a service.


6 posted on 03/26/2007 6:16:50 PM PDT by pissant (Crush the treasonous democrats)
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To: IslandJeff

of course Protestants can attend. As the article says, more congregations are picking this up. It sounds so inspiring.


7 posted on 03/26/2007 6:20:38 PM PDT by Salvation (" With God all things are possible. ")
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To: IslandJeff

I especially liked the one candle being brought back into the sanctuary, representing the coming of Jesus Christ, the true Light!


8 posted on 03/26/2007 6:21:42 PM PDT by Salvation (" With God all things are possible. ")
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To: Salvation

You guys have about a thousand-and-a-half years on us in spiritual tradition and ceremony. That rocks.


9 posted on 03/26/2007 6:23:30 PM PDT by IslandJeff (There will be Democrats in heaven, except they'll be too busy organizing the staff)
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To: Salvation

Thank you. As a Catholic for 50 years, I've never heard of this service. It sounds impressive.


10 posted on 03/26/2007 6:41:37 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Salvation

I don't know...they've been doing them on Fridays all through lent, but I haven't made them yet...sigh


11 posted on 03/26/2007 6:42:07 PM PDT by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: IslandJeff

Episcopal/Anglican churches also have this service on the Wednesday of Holy Week. It's very moving and very beautiful.


12 posted on 03/26/2007 6:47:26 PM PDT by kellynch ("Our only freedom is the freedom to discipline ourselves." -- Bernard Baruch)
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To: Salvation

In Orthodoxy we chant the Lamentations on Great Friday evening as part of the Matins for Great Saturday by anticipation.


13 posted on 03/26/2007 7:08:30 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Salvation
Sounds interesting to me, and reminds me of my family motto...


14 posted on 03/26/2007 7:19:51 PM PDT by Theoden (Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum europe vincendarum!)
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To: Theoden

Light in ?????


15 posted on 03/26/2007 7:57:01 PM PDT by Salvation (" With God all things are possible. ")
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To: Salvation

Excellent post. Thank you, Salvation.


16 posted on 03/26/2007 7:59:06 PM PDT by Siobhan (Putting human genes into animals and plants will result in our nations being destroyed by God.)
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To: Siobhan

Thank you.

Does your church celebrate this darkness to one light evening?


17 posted on 03/26/2007 8:38:22 PM PDT by Salvation (" With God all things are possible. ")
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To: Salvation

darkness. Light in Darkness.


18 posted on 03/26/2007 9:05:31 PM PDT by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: Salvation

Our Tenebrae service is on Good Friday evening. We will be attending this year.


19 posted on 03/27/2007 2:13:18 AM PDT by Miss Marple (Prayers for Jemian's son,: Lord, please keep him safe and bring him home .)
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To: Salvation

A friend has invited me to attend a Tenebrae service on the evening of Palm Sunday at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Waterford.


20 posted on 03/27/2007 6:26:06 AM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: IslandJeff
Can Protestants attend? We tend to gloss over the literature of the Old Testament, admittedly. Sounds like a wonderful service.

I see the Episcopal Diocese in Albany NY is offering a Tenebrae Service. Perhaps others are doing the same.

21 posted on 03/27/2007 6:29:38 AM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: Salvation

Sorry, meant to translate in the earlier post. It means "they shine in darkness". I've always liked it.


22 posted on 03/27/2007 9:06:19 AM PDT by Theoden (Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum europe vincendarum!)
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To: Theoden
The Sisters of Mount Carmel

 
 
 
Tenebrae

“Tenebrae” is the name given to the service of Matins and Lauds belonging to the last three days of Holy Week. It differs, in many things, from the Office of the rest of the year. All is sad and mournful, as though it were a funeral service; nothing could more emphatically express the grief that now weighs down the heart of our holy Mother the Church. Throughout all the Office of Thursday, Friday and Saturday, she forbids herself the use of those formulas of joy and hope wherewith, on all other days, she begins her praise of God. Nothing is left but what is essential to the form of the Divine Office: psalms, lessons and chants expressive of grief. The tone of the whole Office is most noticeably mournful: the lessons taken from the Lamentations of Jeremias, the omission of the Gloria Patri, of the Te Deum, and of blessings etc., so the darkness of these services seems to have been designedly chosen to mark the Church’s desolation. The lessons from Jeremias in the first Nocturn, those from the Commentaries of St. Augustine upon the Psalms in the second, and those from the Epistles of St. Paul in the third remain now as when we first hear of them in the eighth century.

The name “Tenebrae” has been given because this Office is celebrated in the hours of darkness, formerly in the evening or just after midnight, now the early morning hours. There is an impressive ceremony, peculiar to this Office, which tends to perpetuate its name. There is placed in the sanctuary, near the altar, a large triangular candlestick holding fifteen candles. At the end of each psalm or canticle, one of these fifteen candles is extinguished, but the one which is placed at the top of the triangle is left lighted. During the singing of the Benedictus (the Canticle of Zachary at the end of Lauds), six other candles on the altar are also put out. Then the master of ceremonies takes the lighted candle from the triangle and holds it upon the altar while the choir repeats the antiphon after the canticle, after which she hides it behind the altar during the recitation of the Christus antiphon and final prayer. As soon as this prayer is finished, a noise is made with the seats of the stalls in the choir, which continues until the candle is brought from behind the altar, and shows, by its light, that the Office of Tenebrae is over.

Let us now learn the meaning of these ceremonies. The glory of the Son of God was obscured and, so to say, eclipsed, by the ignominies He endured during His Passion. He, the Light of the world, powerful in word and work, Who but a few days ago was proclaimed King by the citizens of Jerusalem, is now robbed of all his honors. He is, says Isaias, the Man of sorrows, a leper (Isaias 53:3,4). He is, says the royal prophet, a worm of the earth, and no man (Psalm 21:7). He is, as He says of himself, an object of shame even to his own disciples, for they are all scandalized in him (Mark 14:27) and abandon Him; yea, even Peter protests that he never knew Him. This desertion on the part of His apostles and disciples is expressed by the candles being extinguished, one after the other, not only on the triangle, but on the altar itself. But Jesus, our Light, though despised and hidden, is not extinguished. This is signified by the candle which is momentarily placed on the altar; it symbolizes our Redeemer suffering and dying on Calvary. In order to express His burial, the candle is hidden behind the altar; its light disappears. A confused noise is heard in the house of God, where all is now darkness. This noise and gloom express the convulsions of nature when Jesus expired on the cross: the earth shook, the rocks were split, the dead came forth from their tombs. But the candle suddenly reappears; its light is as fair as ever. The noise is hushed, and homage is paid to the Conqueror of death.


Excerpted from the revered Liturgical Year by Abbot Gueranger, the Catholic Encyclopedia and other sources
23 posted on 03/27/2007 3:52:20 PM PDT by Salvation (" With God all things are possible. ")
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To: All

I am very intrigued by this service. It sounds like the psalms, lamentations, etc. come from the Liturgy of the Hours.

Does anyone know for sure?


24 posted on 03/27/2007 7:06:50 PM PDT by Salvation (" With God all things are possible. ")
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To: Salvation
It's a solemn, deep and very touching service. We do it Good Friday night.

Then follows Easter Sunday service -- jubilant, bright and joyous!

25 posted on 03/28/2007 9:24:35 AM PDT by polymuser (There is one war and one enemy.)
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To: All
Tenebræ

Tenebrae

26 posted on 04/01/2007 8:14:09 PM PDT by Salvation (" With God all things are possible. ")
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To: Salvation

Going to my first Tenebræ service this Spy Wednesday. Looking forward to it.


27 posted on 04/05/2009 4:14:53 PM PDT by NeoCaveman (control the teleprompter, control the world)
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To: T Minus Four

Pinging you to this thread


28 posted on 04/05/2009 8:44:45 PM PDT by Salvation ( ┬ćWith God all things are possible.┬ć)
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