Tenebrae

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Tenebræ (Latin for darkness or shadows, pronounced ten-eh-bray) is the name of the church service held after nightfall during the last three days of Holy Week, during which the candles in the church are extinguished one by one "to signify the setting of the Sun of Justice" in the words of Benedict XIV. The service is treated as a sort of funeral service or dirge, commemorating the death of Jesus. Following the opening, the service is divided into three sections, called "Nocturns".

  • Feria V in coena Domini ad Matutinum - Maundy Thursday
    • 1st Nocturn (3 lessons from Jeremiah)
      • 1. In monte oliveti
      • 2. Tristis est anima mea
      • 3. Ecce vidimus
    • 2nd Nocturn (3 lessons from St Augustin)
      • 4. Amicus meus osculi
      • 5. Judas, mercador pessimus
      • 6. Unus ex discipulis
    • 3rd nocturn (3 lessons from Corinthians 11)
      • 7. Eram quasi agnus
      • 8. Una hora
      • 9. Seniores populi
  • Feria VI in parasceve ad Matutinum - Good Friday
    • First nocturn (3 lessons from Jeremiah)
      • 10. Omnes amici mei
      • 11. Velum templi
      • 12. Vinea mea electa
    • 2nd Nocturn (lessons from St Augustin)
      • 13. Tamquam ad latronem
      • 14. Tenebrae factae sunt
      • 15. Animam meam dilectam
    • 3rd Nocturn (3 lessons from Hebrews 4)
      • 16. Tradiderunt me
      • 17. Jesum tradidit impius
      • 19. Caligaverunt oculi mei
  • Sabbato Sancto ad Matutinum - Holy Saturday
    • First nocturn (3 lessons from Jeremiah)
      • 21. Sicut ovis
      • 22. Jerusalem, surge
      • 23. Plange quasi virgo
    • 2nd nocturn (3 lessons from St Augustin)
      • 24. Recessit pastor noster
      • 25. O vos omnes
      • 26. Ecce quomodo moritur justus
    • 3rd Nocturn (3 lessons from Hebrews 9)
      • 27. Astiterunt reges
      • 28. Aestimatus sum
      • 29. Sepulto Domino

See also