Thursday, 21 April 2011

Mandy Thursday Evening Tenebrae for Good Friday

At the usual time Compline is recited on a monotone, as the Little Hours this morning. Again its form is absolute simplicity beginning with the Confiteor and the usual psalms, Nunc dimittis and then Christus factus est, Miserere and Respice as at the other Hours. At Compline this evening only Christus factus est pro nobis obediens usque ad mortem is said as it is still part of the Office of Mandy Thursday.

Tenebrae for Good Friday follows Compline, or after a short gap. In practice Compline can be chanted in the time it takes to light the altar candles and candles on the Tenebrae hearse. The service of Tenebrae is structurally the same as that sung for Mandy Thursday and the differences will be noted.

The choir altar is as it was after stripping this morning with six candlesticks and altar Cross veiled now in black (preferably) or violet. At Mattins the first antiphon is Astiterunt reges. The psalms are strictly proper: in the first nocturn Pss. 2, 21 & 26; in the second nocturn Pss. 37, 39 & 53; and, in the third nocturn Pss. 58, 87 & 93. After the last verse of each psalm a candle is exstinguished on the hearse. The Lamentations of Jeremy form the first nocturn lessons. The second nocturn lessons are again from St. Augustine on the psalms and in the third nocturn from St. Paul to the Hebrews.

Lauds follow from Mattins beginning with the antiphon Proprio Filio suo etc. Psalms 50, 142, 84, Domine audivi auditionem & 147. The antiphon on the Benedictus is Posuerunt super caput ejus etc, sung to the same tone as last night and doubled. Exactly the same ceremonies take place as last night. When the Christus factus est is sung Mortem autem crucis is added.

After Tenebrae in Cathedral and larger churches the Ceremonial Washing of the Altars takes place. The bare mensae ar ewashed with a mixture of water and wine and the surface scoured with brushes and dried with towels whilst Diviserunt and psalm 21 is monotoned. After this service Christus factus est ... Mortem autem crucis is added.

In the 1962 liturgical books 'Tenebrae' is celebrated tomorrow morning. According to the rubrics there are no candlesticks on the altar at all. Of course, on the principle of 'What the Vicar likes' candlesticks appear in many places.


Anonymous said...

One of the oddities of the modern Liturgia Horarum is what to do with the Matins of Good Friday and Holy Saturday. The new LH provides an optional extended vigil for these 2 nights, but the question then arises...when does one celebrate the extended vigil for, say, Good Friday? If you have Mass at c. 6:00 pm and then adoration until midnight (the usual practice), there is no time for Matins, presuming you're not a monastery where you might have a midnight or 3am Office. Thus you end up with Friday morning by default, with no extended vigil.

You see this same problem in the curious rubric in the new Missal for proper vigil Masses: they are to be celebrated before or after First Vespers. Of course, since the new liturgy is forced to have 2 services at the same time, First Vespers (which it mistakenly considers vigil vespers) and the proper vigil Mass. Far more logical is the "old" system by which the vigil is in the morning, and then the First Vespers inaguarates the feast. Easter, of course, is the sole exception. There, the Pascal Matins really inaugurates the festival.

-Dr. Lee Fratantuono

Unknown said...

Stripping the altar entirely of cross and candlesticks leaves no place in which to say any office after the Mass. But of course, why keep offering the Office when you can have Rosary before the altar of repose, or stations tomorrow?