Tenebrae - tradition to stand
  • francis
    Posts: 10,706
    Our Parish has been singing Tenebrae for the last four years. For the section of Good Friday we remain standing for the entire 2 1/2 hours. Does anybody know where this tradition comes from?

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    Here’s a funny side story. Our choir loft is being re-floored therefore the choir Director, had us wear bedroom slippers or socks the last few weeks until the finish is applied. Well, I wander down to the sanctuary after Mass and vested up. left my slippers on, and thought nothing of it completely forgetting that we had to stand on the marble floor for 2.5 hours. With absolutely no arch support, I nearly died. I had to sit down three or four times. I felt like such a heel (pun intended).

    Also, I think it’s funny when we sing “ulula” in one of the responsories. (See attached) it reminds me of “oo-la-la” and at that point I just have to chuckle… the translation is “howl, ye shepherds”
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CHGiffen
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,068
    That’s insane. I just said to a friend that a lesson learned is to not out-trad the ICRSP. I was really embarrassed, frankly, by how clumsy we were in the dark on Thursday. So I turned on the light above me, on a dimmer, and used booklights at the Benedictus onward. They get switched off at the end of the Miserere. Why? Because Canon Huberfeld does things the right way but even he uses lights.

    Anyway, the Roman custom is to sit, not lean or stand. Monastic stalls still often have a place to lean on during psalmody in addition to a seat. Saint-Eugène in Paris has these too, but most people sit for the offices. I don’t even like standing for all of Sunday Vespers if I can help it.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen tomjaw
  • francis
    Posts: 10,706
    We did not stand for Thurs or Sat, only Friday. That is why I am inquiring about the tradition.

    Besides having old eyes, our lighting is very poor to the point where I could not see the italics and would constantly miss the tone change in the psalmody.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Simon
    Posts: 153
    We have always sat for the psalms and stand for the geat Responsories in Amsterdam. I've been with the choir since 1979
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,068
    I’ve seen sitting for the responsories, for the whole choir, but a smaller group standing in the middle at the lectern is pretty common too.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,730
    For our Tenebrae Wednesday and Friday (Thursday was at my house so no ceremonies)
    We stand for the Antiphons but sit for the Psalms, the choir stand in the centre for the Responsories. For the darkness we have taken to handing out small candles for the singers because we have not yet memorised the Christus Factus, and the Miserere!
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,068
    We stand for the first antiphon, and if they remember, for the incipit of the Benedictus antiphon, but we sit for the rest and at the repetition.

    The cantors stand for the incipit of psalms. Since the usual ceremonies are omitted, it’s easiest to have cantors in their place (ideally, in a stall or stall-like arrangement behind the rail) instead of going to the middle, and they stand for the incipit until the asterisk, as well as for the verse. Everyone stands for the silent Pater.
  • Simon
    Posts: 153
    A Blessèd Easter to all. Just back from singing Easter Matins,
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,068
    Lucky! Happy Easter!
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,730
    My son looked at Easter Matins with interest... but did not suggest we sing it. He had sung Maundy Thursday Tenebrae with me so perhaps was less than interested in using worn voices, with so much still to sing.