March 28, 2018 – Tenebrae

Tenebrae – March 28, 2018
Wednesday in Holy Week

Trinity Chamber Singers
Todd Wilson, choirmaster

Officiant: The Rev. Dr. Paul Gaston, Acting Dean, Trinity Cathedral

The name Tenebrae (the Latin word for “darkness” or “shadows”) has for centuries been applied to the ancient monastic night and early morning services (Matins and Lauds) of the last three days of Holy Week, which in medieval times came to be celebrated on the preceding evenings. Apart from the reading or chanting of the Lamentations (in which each verse is introduced by a letter of the Hebrew alphabet), the most conspicuous feature of the service is the gradual extinguishing of candles and other lights in the church until only a single candle, considered a symbol of our Lord, remains. Toward the end of the service this candle is hidden, typifying the apparent victory of the forces of evil. At the very end, the organ plays, symbolizing the earthquake at the time of the resurrection (Matthew 28:2), the hidden candle is restored to its place, and by its light all depart in silence. In the book of Occasional Services, provision is made for Tenebrae on as the principal services of those days. By drawing upon material from each of the former three offices of Tenebrae, this service provides an extended meditation upon, and a prelude to, the events in our Lord’s life between the Last Supper and the Resurrection. Tonight’s service uses only the first of the three Nocturns of Lauds.


First Nocturne of Matins for Maundy Thursday

Psalm 69: 1-23

Lesson I: Lamentations of Jeremiah the Prophet 1:1-14

Responsory: Amicus Meus      Tomas Luis de Victoria (1548-1611)

Lesson II

Responsory: Animam Meam Dilectam     Tomas Luis de Victoria

Lesson III

Responsory: O Vos Omnes      Tomas Luis de Victoria


Psalm 90: 1-12

Lesson: The Song of Hezekiah, Isaiah 38:10-20

Responsory: Sepulto Domino     Tomas Luis de Victoria

The Lamentations of Jeremiah     Edward C. Bairstow