Friday, 3 April 2015
Good Friday Evening - Tenebrae for Holy Saturday
Tenebrae for Holy Saturday takes place in the late afternoon or evening of Good Friday. The choir altar remains as it was after Vespers this morning with six candlesticks bearing candles of unbleached wax and with the altar Cross now unveiled. Choir reverences are omitted until after None tomorrow morning. All reverence the Cross with a genuflection.
At the usual time Compline is recited on a monotone, as the Little Hours were in the morning and yesterday. Its structure is exactly the same as yesterday. After the Canticle Christus factus est...Mortem autem crucis (only) is said, the Miserere and Respice follow as before. The altar candles remain unlit until Mattins.
At Mattins the first antiphon is In pace in idipsum. The psalms are strictly proper, in the first nocturn Pss. 4, 14 & 15. After the last verse of each psalm a candle is extinguished on the hearse. The Lamentations of Jeremy form the first nocturn lessons with the Prayer of Jeremy as third lesson. There is a splendid and beautiful ad libitum tone for the latter. In the second nocturn Pss. 23, 26 & 29 are sung. The second nocturn lessons are again from St. Augustine on the psalms. In the third nocturn Pss. 53, 75 & 87 are sung. The lessons are again from St. Paul to the Hebrews. The theme of the service is Christ in the Tomb.
Lauds follow immediately from Mattins with the first antiphon O mors ero mors etc. Psalms 50, 91, 63, Ego dixi and 150 are sung. The antiphon on the Benedictus is Mulieres sedentes etc, sung to the same tone as the previous two nights and doubled. Exactly the same ceremonies take place as the previous two nights. When the Christus factus est is sung Propter quod et Deus exaltavit illum, dedit illi nomen, quod est super omne nomen is added.
This is the shortest Tenebrae (too short?) and has a wonderful sense of peace about it.
In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Tenebrae is celebrated tomorrow morning. Four candlesticks remain on the altar from the 'Solemn Liturgical Action' of Good Friday afternoon.