Tenebrae for Holy Week - Back by Popular Demand
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHICAGO, IL (MARCH 21, 2009) - The Canons Regular of St. John Cantius in Chicago are now providing booklets for TENEBRAE SERVICES for Holy Week for Catholic clergy, laity and choirs. The booklets contain everything needed for the prayers and chants of the Tenebrae Service.
During the Sacred Triduum (Holy Thurs, Good Fri. and Holy Sat.), the Matins and Lauds of the Divine Office are often sung in a haunting service known as the Tenebrae service (“tenebrae” meaning “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 clatter intended to evoke the earthquake that was said to happen at the moment of 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.
As the Traditional Tenebrae services are intimidating for smaller parishes (approximately 2 hours of singing), Monsignor Martin B. Hellriegel, created a modified Tenebrae Service for parishes.
He maintains the entire structure of the service, but shortens the readings and psalms. In his Tenebrae services (approximately 45 minutes long), the Psalms are chanted in English according to simple Gregorian melodies and tones, yet some of the Latin and simple Greek Chants are provided (i.e. Christus Factus Est).
Monsignor Martin B. Hellriegel (1890-1981) an Apostolic Protonotary, was one of the giants of the 20th century Liturgical Movement that Pope Pius X inspired. A native of Heppenheim, Germany, his most productive years were spent in America, where he was chaplain to the Most Precious Blood Sisters in O’Fallon, Missouri, then pastor of Holy Cross parish in St. Louis.
Monsignor Hellrigel was influential in promoting liturgical reforms that Pope Pius XII had urged in Mediator Dei, his 1947 encyclical on the liturgy—in particular the restoration of the Easter Vigil and the participation of the congregation in the chants of the Mass.
During the Triduum, the Matins and Lauds readings come from the following day’s readings each night because the hours of Matins and Lauds were pushed back so that the public might better participate during these special three days (i.e., the Matins and Lauds readings heard at Spy Wednesday’s tenebrae service are those for Maundy Thursday, the readings for Maundy Thursday’s tenebrae “Cercis siliquastrum” service are from Good Friday, and Good Friday’s readings are from Holy Saturday’s Divine Office).
Legend says that the tree upon which Judas hanged himself was the “Cercis siliquastrum” -- a tree that is now known as the “Judas Tree.” It is a beautiful tree, native to the Mediterranean region, with brilliant deep pink flowers in the spring—flowers that are said to have blushed in shame after Judas’s suicide.
Canons Regular of St John Cantius
http://www.cantius.org/go/webstore/product/tenebrae_service_booklets/ IL, 60642 US
Fr. Scott Haynes, SJC - webmaster, 312 243 7373
Holy Week, Lent, Penance, Tenebrae, Chanting of Psalms
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Catholic PrWire
- Pope Francis to Celebrate Bambinelli Sunday, December 15
- Celine Dion Moved to Tears Voicing Her Support for Mary’s Meals documentary, CHILD 31
- 'Francis: A Pope For Our Time, The Definitive Biography'
- Ignatius Press to release Pope Francis’ first Apostolic Exhortation
- Steve Ray Conference December 14,2013 in Brighton, MI
- A trip to another planet shatters assumptions
- Christian Doctors Providing Relief Work to the Philippines
- Production of Catholic cartoon about Saint Kateri Tekakwitha
- Youth to Assemble 100,000 Meals for Africa at National Catholic Youth Conference.
- Contraception and Catholicism: What the Church Teaches and Why