Sacred Heart Church - The Heart and Hands of the Community

Tenebrae - A Service of Shadows

Tenebrae 2021

 A service of readings and choral meditations at the altar of repose. 'Tenebrae' is Latin for shadows or darkness, and this service has been practiced by the church since medieval times. The Tenebrae service is a prolonged reflection on Christ's suffering and death. It begins in candelight. Readings trace the story of Christ's passion, music portrays his pathos, and the power of silence and darkness suggests the drama of this momentus day. After each reading, a candle is extinguished. When only last year's paschal candle remains, Psalm 22, which Jesus quoted on the cross, is read. Then the Christ candle is put out leacing the church in total darkness. We remember the cataclysmic nature of Jesus's sacrifice as we hear the sound of the 'Strepitus' (which symbolizes, in various ways, the slamming of the huge stone to seal Christ's tomb, the rending of the veil in the temple, the earthquake and storm that occured in the hours after the crucifixion. Because the purpse of the Tenebrae service is to recreate the betrayal, abandonment and agony of the events, it is left unfinished, and the congregation leaves in silence and darkness.
The Approach to God  - Do Not Be Afraid – Philip Stopford
The Shadow of Betrayal  - If thou wilt be perfect  - Melissa Dunphy
The Shadow of Agony of the Spirit  - Into Your Hands - Michael John Trotta
The Shadow of Arrest  - Ah Holy Jesus  - Johann Crüger
The Shadow of Desertion  - Drop, Drop Slow Tears  - Orlando Gibbons
The Shadow of Accusation  - I See His Blood Upon the Rose - Michael Bedford
The Shadow of Crucifixion  - Adoramus Te, Christe - Giovanni Luigi da Palestrina
The Shadow of Humiliation - Ave Verum Corpus – Philip Stopford
The Shadow of Death  - Ecce quomodo moritur justus est – Jacob Handl
The Shadow of Burial  - Blessed are those who mourn – Daniel Knaggs
Reading of Psalm - O Gracious Light – Michael John Trotta
2020 Paschal Candle Removed - Total Darkness
Behold, Before our Wondering Eyes - Gail Berberick
The evening of readings and choral meditations will be live streamed on our parish website, Facebook page and YouTube.
Follow along in our worship aid: Tenebrae