• Pes
    Posts: 623
    A thread for Tenebrae.

    The ancient services are extraordinary and require two hours of singing psalms, responsories, readings, and the Benedictus. Composers have long tackled setting the psalms, responsories, readings from Jeremiah, and the canticle. (Apparently the readings from Augustine and Paul have not been set.) There is a treasure house of music here.

    For those without Latin, there is an English translation of the entire office of Holy Week at googlebooks here (PDF). 977 pages. No music. The translations look good. Perhaps this would be useful for those putting together materials.

    Our schola will sing the Tenebrae service for Good Friday. Not sure yet how much polyphony we'll attempt. Maybe three pieces, one during each nocturn. Not sure.
  • This is an Anglican book: be sure to compare diligently with the Latin.
    Thanked by 1Roborgelmeister
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    Thanks for that, Daniel, I will definitely do that.
  • Daniel,

    Not to be argumentative, but with the failure of the Church to authorize any english translations to be sung, would not the Anglican book be just as acceptable...I doubt that there would be any heresy there...
  • The Anglican books of this sort use beautifully crafted language and benefit from a deep and lengthy understanding of liturgy in the vernacular. At the same time, there is a very significance difference in ecclesiology and sacramental theology. While these may not be as readily apparent in the Office as in the Mass, the possibility of subtle, yet significant theological divergence exists. As with many Anglican books of this sort, the problem may be in what is omitted as opposed to what is spuriously included.
  • here is one in English
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    Interesting. That is an adaptation. Hellriegel also did one (45 min). I'm having to face the issue of what to do with the readings from Augustine. Their rhetoric regarding the Jews is widely understood now to be unacceptable and misleading. Obviously, modern adaptations avoid this.
  • The Canons Regular of Saint John Cantius sell booklets for singing moderate-length versions of Tenebrae for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of Holy Week.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,778
    First time to programming a tenebrae on Good Friday.

    Help! Where do I even find the texts?
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,078
    By Tenebrae, you mean the office from the breviary, right?

    Because if not, I've seen adaptations that take some stuff from the current Office of Readings, some traditional things, and then everything in between. (No snark intended, I'm trying to nail down your query.)
  • “For those without Latin, there is an English translation of the entire office of Holy Week at googlebooks here (PDF). 977 pages. No music. The translations look good. Perhaps this would be useful for those putting together materials.”


    It would be important to take note that this is an Episcopalian book.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,410
    The first site, from the first post, just gives me "error 404"
    and the second fares no better.
    However there is this , does anyone know what precisely that offers?
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    We do the entire office every year in Latin. I will find out where we got the books.

    Here is one in English.

    https://media.churchmusicassociation.org/pdf/tenebrae_stlouis.pdf
  • Here is a Latin version. Chant as found in the LU, plus some optional polyphony.
  • You can also purchase the pdf as a book.
    https://asbloomf.github.io/gabc-chants/
  • emac3183
    Posts: 36
    Novus Ordo parish...
    We have a half-made-up Tenebrae service...bringing in a professional quartet (the Mirandola Ensemble in the Twin Cities–they are incredible!) to sing chant and polyphony. Attaching the ordo from last year.
    I would love to get advice on how to improve this, which has been a staple of the parish for the last few years.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,078
    Well. You’re doing something quite long as it is — why not do the real thing?
  • Chaswjd
    Posts: 264
    The problem is that Tenebrae used to be the Matins and Lauds for the three last days of Holy Week celebrated in anticipation on the evening before. In the Novus Ordo, Matins is now the Office of the Readings. So if you want to do a recognized liturgical service, it would have to be the Office of the Readings. That said, the responses which have been so memorably set to music by so many have been done away with.

    At the same time, only clergy and religious have an obligation to pray the Office. If a prayer service is devised for the laity, within doctrinal limits, there are really no limits on what should or should not be done.

    So outside a EF celebration, there are not right or wrong ways to fashion a "Tenebrae" service.
  • emac3183
    Posts: 36
    We've been doing sung Office & Lauds on the days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday...so this "Tenebrae" is an add-on.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,078
    It’s more than the changed responsories. The Office of Readings has only the weakest relationship to Matins and certainly not to the archaic form which is the Matins of the Triduum, so archaic that the Benedictines use it intact.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,732
    We do Tenebrae on Wednesday and Friday evenings. The texts etc. are in the Liber Usually or in Festa Majora. I am sure there are other threads on this Forum with links etc. I have downloaded some files that the links have died and placed them here
  • CGM
    Posts: 690
    Serviam,

    Tenebrae for Good Friday can be found here (click on the link at left that says "Good Friday - Office & Morning Prayer").

    In the revised LOTH, the Lamentations and Responsories have been omitted from Tenebrae. To restore this ancient practice, we typically insert them before the beginning of Morning Prayer - so after the conclusion of p.11 of the linked booklet, before beginning p.12. I've never done all 9 laments & responses; we usually do just the first three, as given in the Liber Usualis.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,778
    I find this whole process to be rather confusing, since (of course) everything was messed around with after the council. Ours needs to be novus ordo, in english (apart from any special music). I currently have a nascent choir (rebuilding year) and no paid singers to hire for heavy lifting this year. Totally fish out of water.
  • davido
    Posts: 898
    Francis Burgess published an edition of the 3 tenebrae services in English, set to Gregorian melodies and simple fauxbordons.
    Thursday https://giamusic.com/resource/maundy-thursday-tenebrae-print-grp16
    Friday https://giamusic.com/resource/good-friday-tenebrae-print-grp19

    Palmer also published an edition of all 3 services http://anglicanhistory.org/music/palmer_tenebrae1956.pdf
  • GerardH
    Posts: 426
    FWIW Tenebrae of Good Friday and Holy Saturday in the current Solesmes Antiphonale Monasticum is virtually unchanged from the traditional version. If you just say you're celebrating "monastic novus ordo", you could basically get away with anything.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,410
    ServiamScores I agree it is confusing, particularly as people freely borrow from pretty much any era and tradition.
    However the General Instruction says
    §210 Before morning Lauds (sic) on Good Friday and Holy Saturday, the Office of Readings is, if possible, to be celebrated publicly and with the people taking part.
    §99 If the Office of Readings is said immediately before another Hour ...
    §73 ... tradition of marking the Vigil ... after both readings ... canticles may be added from the Appendix ... a Gospel passage is then read followed if desired by a homily ...
    Whether that gives license to having the service on Good Friday evening, after dark, I could not say.
    Also - what GerardH says
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    If you just say you're celebrating "monastic novus ordo", you could basically get away with anything.
    ah yes, the loophole of modernism
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • igneusigneus
    Posts: 366
    §210 Before morning Lauds (sic) on Good Friday and Holy Saturday, the Office of Readings is, if possible, to be celebrated publicly and with the people taking part.
    §99 If the Office of Readings is said immediately before another Hour ...
    §73 ... tradition of marking the Vigil ... after both readings ... canticles may be added from the Appendix ... a Gospel passage is then read followed if desired by a homily ...
    Whether that gives license to having the service on Good Friday evening, after dark, I could not say.


    The Office of Readings can be said the evening before (IGLH 59), but not the Lauds.

    IGLH 210 certainly doesn't expect you to say the Office of Readings the evening before, but (unlike in the 1955 rubrics) it isn't strictly prohibited.

    If you just say you're celebrating "monastic novus ordo", you could basically get away with anything.
    ah yes, the loophole of modernism


    The post-Vatican II liturgical law definitely does not authorize parish churches (regular parish churches served by diocesan clergy) to celebrate the monastic LOTH or other rites proper to religious orders.
  • DL
    Posts: 72
    There’s loads of weird and wonderful stuff in the Directory on Popular Piety, some even in Lent and Holy Week. I think people ought not to be too hung up on whether a venerable collection of psalms and readings is or isn’t ok, and just get on with doing Tenebrae, at night, with all the trimmings, if they want to, and not if they don’t. Pious exercises are good. And should anyone be involved who is a) bound to praying the office and b) inclined to carefulness about this sort of thing, more time spent in prayer is never wasted.
    Thanked by 1a_f_hawkins
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,410
    loads of weird and wonderful stuff in the Directory on Popular Piety,
    §144. ... Penitential practices leading to self-crucifixion with nails are not to be encouraged.
    Thanked by 2igneus ServiamScores