Tenebrae (meaning "shadows") is the name given to the nighttime Hours of the Triduum, or last three days of Holy Week. These consist of Matins and Lauds of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, though these services often took place on the preceding day or evening: Couperin's Leçons de ténèbres pour le Mercredi Saint ("Tenebrae Lessons for Wednesday") sets the Thursday liturgy.
Matins is divided into three Nocturns, each calling for three psalms with their antiphons followed by three lessons and their responsories. The only commonly set lessons are those of the first nocturn, from the Lamentations of Jeremiah; the 27 responsories have been set by Palestrina and Gesualdo, whose book also includes a Miserere for use at Lauds.
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