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The Ancient Office of Tenebrae

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 – 7:30 PM

The Ancient Office of Tenebrae

One of the best attended events of the year, the Ancient Office of Tenebrae features Gregorian chants and sublime choral music of Holy Week including the Lamentations of Jeremiah and Allegri’s Miserere sung by the Choir of Saint Peter in Chains Cathedral.

No tickets required. Free-will offerings accepted.

Music for service includes Gregorian chants, renaissance through 20th century polyphonic choral masterpieces.  The complete list includes:

Peter Hallock: Turn Us Again, O Lord of Hosts
Francis Poulenc: Timor et Tremor
Tomas Luis de Victoria Victoria: Eram Quam Agnus
Chant: The Lamentations of Jeremiah
Pablo Casals: O Vos Omnes
J S Bach: Passion Chorale
Gregorio Allegri: Miserere
Richard Proulx: Lord Jesus Christ Humbled Himself
Marc Antonio Ingegneri: Tenebrae Facte Sunt
Anton Bruckner: Christus Factus Est

Tenebrae is a Latin word meaning “shadows” or “darkness.” It designates a special Holy Week liturgy introducing the sacred Three Days: Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. The service consists of the Psalms, reading of scripture, the chanting of the Lamentations of Jeremiah and the singing of the great passiontide choral settings. In modern liturgical practice, Tenebrae is sung only on Wednesday evening of Holy Week.

The mood of the service is somewhat somber, quiet and reflective; its dramatic features are the gradual extinction of a fifteen branch candelabra in the center of the sanctuary and all the lights in the cathedral, as the church contemplates the temporary triumph of the prince of darkness over the light of the world, and a loud noise (strepitus)  at its conclusion, suggesting the earthquake described in the passion narratives.



St. Peter in Chains Cathedral

St. Peter in Chains Cathedral
St. Peter in Chains Cathedral

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