You are invited for Sung Tenebrae, 7pm this Wednesday 23rd March, at St Mary's Shrine (pdf of programme here). Hear exquisite music introducing us into the Sacred Triduum. The pieces composed by, inter alia, Couperin, Casals and Allegri, take texts from Lamentations and the Psalms, putting us in mind of Jesus' sorrow as He faced betrayal, abandonment, injustice, opprobrium, agony and death.
Pictured: a tenebrae hearse, for holding the 15 candles to match the
14 Psalms and Canticle. We need one! If you know where we can
buy / borrow a tenebrae hearse this week, please do contact us.
The word ‘tenebrae’ means darkness. Traditionally, 15 candles are lit and then as each of the 14 Psalms of Matins and Lauds are completed, the candles are extinguished one by one, followed by the Big Six during the Benedictus, leaving the church in darkness, as the world fell into its deepest darkness when Christ was killed. But the final candle is not extinguished, rather it is taken behind the altar, to hide for a few moments, and then re-emerges, a light in the darkness, symbolising the risen life of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As you hear the choir at St Mary's Shrine sing pieces by Couperin, Casals and Allegri, the liturgical office will be prayed quietly in parallel. Please do enjoy the music. And please pray. Remember the sorrow of this week. Meditate upon the Sacrifice which Jesus made to save each of us from our sins. This music, these thoughts, these prayers, are meant to move us. And being moved, let us be changed. If in sorrow we will repent, only then is it possible in the Resurrection of Easter Sunday that our joy may be complete.
Gregorian Tenebrae will be chanted on Good Friday and Holy Saturday, both days from 10am to 11:30am.
The full choral programme for Spy Wednesday is as follows:
Stabat Mater--Chant Crucifixus--Lotti O vos omnes--Casals Tristis est anima mea--de Cristo Ad dominum dum tribularer Justitiae Domine--Scarlatti
Attende Domine--Chant Crux fidelis--Victoria Troisiéme Leçon des ténèbres--Couperin O salutaris--Elgar Ubi Caritas--Lauridsen