Friday, April 3, 2015, 8:00 PM
The service of Tenebrae will be held in the Cathedral on Good Friday evening presided over by Msgr. George Michalek and featuring the Cathedral Choir and cantors under the direction of Dr. Timothy Flynn. The Tenebrae service includes settings of psalms, the Lamentations of Jeremiah, the singing of hymns, and special intercessions.
The principal part of the ceremony is the gradual extinguishing of candles upon a stand in the sanctuary called a hearse (see photo). The candles are put out during the singing of the psalms, hymns and lamentations, until the final candle remains. This last candle is then hidden beneath the altar, thus ending the service, and the rendering church in total darkness. The
strepitus (Latin for "great noise") is then made. This ancient tradition symbolizes the earthquake that followed Christ's death.
Slowly following this great noise, the candle which had been hidden from view is returned to the top of the hearse, signifying the return of Christ into the world with the Resurrection, and then all depart in silence. This is an extremely beautiful and moving liturgy which has been a tradition at St. Mary Cathedral for decades. Music included in the Tenebrae will be works by Palestrina and chanting of the Lamentations.