Tenebrae is a Latin word meaning “shadows,” a reference to the extinguishing of candles and the dimming of lights in the church. This will be the first parish Tenebrae in the newly restored church. The Tenebrae service is among the oldest liturgies known to the modern church. The chants for Tenebrae are some of the most poignant melodies in Western liturgical music. The Voices of St. Mary Magdalen Choir and children’s choir will sing selections from Fauré, Duruflé, Palestrina, Tallis and others.
With its themes of lamentations and abandonment, Tenebrae is associated with the hours of darkness. It promises to be a beautiful service in preparation for the Paschal Triduum and Easter Sunday celebration. St. Mary Magdalen’s version of the service differs from the form of the ancient rite, but does preserve the liturgical drama of extinguishing of candles and dimming of lights in church thus increasing the darkness during the Tenebrae lessons. The presentation of psalms and scripture readings recalls the ancient form of the service.
Celebrant of the service is Rev. William Blanda, St. Mary Magdalen pastor. Chanters are Rev. Thomas Habetz and Rev. Barry F. Crochet. The choir is under the direction of Tommy Guidry. The Children’s Choir is under the direction of Jennifer Melancon. The choirs will be accompanied by organ and violin.
Everyone is invited to attend.