Posted in HOLY WEEK

The Office of Tenebrae

The Office of Tenebrae

The public singing of part of the Divine Office, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings of Holy Week, anticipating Matins and Lauds of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. A custom that went back centuries, it acquired the name because of the mourning ritual surrounding the ceremony, which included a triangular stand with fifteen candles. These were put out one by one until, after the last candle was extinguished, a prayer was said in darkness, one candle was lighted, and the assembly dispersed in silence. Fr John Hardon, Modern Catholic Dictionary

The Matins and Lauds of the Divine Office sung during the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday) are known as the Tenebrae services (“tenebrae” meaning “darkness or shadows”), which is basically a funeral service for Our Lord.

During the Matins on Good Friday, one by one, the candles are extinguished in the Church, leaving the congregation in total darkness and in a silence that is punctuated by the “strepitus” (a loud clang intended to evoke the earthquake that occurred at the moment of Our Saviour’s Death) meant to evoke the convulsion of nature at the Death of Christ. It has also been described as the sound of the tomb door closing.

Author:

Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings.

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