Thursday, 28 March 2013

Mandy Thursday Evening - Tenebrae of 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 below.

The choir altar is as it was after the 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 extinguished 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 Mattins immediately 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 now 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 when, according to the rubrics, there are no candlesticks, nor Cross, on the altar at all.


The Rad Trad said...

I can't help but notice certain similarities between the pre-Pian Roman rite and the Byzantine rite. My Melkite parish had Vespers, Annointing, and Divine Liturgy for Great and Holy Thursday last night, rather than today, as in the ancient practice [east and west] a new liturgical day begins at sunset! Tonight we have a crucifixion service and tomorrow afternoon at 3pm we will have a ceremony for the deposition from the cross with vespers.

The Easter "vigil" is at 10am, blessing fire in broad day light, along with the reading of the 15 prophecies. Why? Because we do not want people to get liturgical burnout. We want people to attend Hajmeh, Mattins, Lauds, and Divine Liturgy of the Resurrection late Saturday night and into Sunday morning.

The office in the Latin Church has been too de-emphasized. I would say the 1911 breviary reforms were symptoms rather than causes of this. As our parish priest said, "In the Roman rite, 'where two or three are gathered in name, someone has to say Mass.'"

Rubricarius said...

Dear Rad Trad,

Indeed, there are very strong parallels. If one equate the Sepulchre with the Epitaphios everything slots into place. Many years ago I was attending Byzantine Paschal Orthros and a friend said 'We had better Creep to the Cross' i.e. make a final veneration of the Epitaphios during the Midnight Office before Mattins - very in the spirit of Sarum!