Tenebrae as Holy Triduum Begins

Tenebrae as Holy Triduum Begins March 31, 2021

Tenebrae is a service that allows one to enter into the holiest days of Holy Week with greater intensity.  Candles are extinguished as Psalms, Readings from Scripture and songs are pronounced.  At the end, one final candle is hidden and a thunderous noise recreates the 3pm hour of Good Friday.  Then in silence, the light reemerges to be placed on the altar as a reminder that Jesus Christ has vanquished the darkness (tenebrae) of sin and death.

The Lamentations of Jeremiah the Prophet are a pillar of the service.  They strongly express the sorrow of the Jewish people for the loss of Jerusalem, evoking in the soul a tremendous longing that sets the tone for the holy days ahead.

Here begin the Lamentations of Jeremiah the Prophet:

א How lonely sits the city that was full of people!

How like a widow she has become, she that was great among the nations!

She that was a princess among the cities has become a vassal.

ב‎ She weeps bitterly in the night, tears on her cheeks;

among all her lovers she has none to comfort her;

all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, and have become her enemies.

Jerusalem, return to the Lord your God!

ג‎  Judah has gone into exile because of affliction and hard servitude;

she dwells now among the nations, but finds no resting place;

her pursuers have all overtaken her in the midst of her distress.

ד‎  The roads to Zion mourn, for none come to the appointed feasts;

all her gates are desolate, her priests groan; her maidens have been dragged away,

and she herself suffers bitterly.

ה  Her foes have become the head, her enemies prosper,

because the Lord has made her suffer for the multitude of her transgressions;

her children have gone away, captives before the foe.

Jerusalem, return to the Lord your God!


Picture is mine, all rights reserved.  Saint John the Baptist Cathedral Basilica, Savannah, Georgia.

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