The Clergy and Choir of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral will present the office of Tenebrae this evening, 24 March 2016, at the Cathedral beginning at twelve o’clock ante meridian (twelve o’clock midnight) All are invited and welcome.
About the Service this excerpt is taken from the Book of Occasional Services of the Episcopal Church:
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 chant 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, a loud noise is made, symbolizing the earthquake at the time of the resurrection (Mathew 28:2) the hidden candle is restored to its place, and by its light all depart in silence.
……This service provides an extended mediation upon, and a prelude to, the events of our Lord’s life between the Last Supper and the Resurrection.
There is no more fitting way to experience the depth of the mystery of the Crucifixion and Resurrection that by saying or singing this office. Please consider attending and you will receive a truly spiritual experience.
A candle “hearse” typically used during Tenebrae.
A photo of Seibels Chapel during Lent.