Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tenebrae


Today is Wednesday in Holy Week. If you are not able to get to church tonight, I recommend that you read the service of Tenebrae on your own. Here's a description of the service:
The name Tenebrae is the Latin word for "darkness" or "shadows," and has for centuries been applied to the ancient monastic night and early morning services of the last three days of Holy Week, which in medieval times came to be celebrated on the preceding evenings.

This service is marked by a reading from the book of Lamentations and the gradual extinguishing of candles and other lights until a single candle, considered a symbol of the Lord, remains. Towards 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 (Matthew 28:2), the hidden candle is restored to its place and by its light all depart in silence.
You can find the service right here.

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