Wednesday 16 April 2014 at 7.30pm
Tenebrae (meaning ‘shadows’ or ‘darkness’) is a solemn liturgy. The choir sings plainsong psalms and lessons with canticles such as the Lamentations of Jeremiah and the Benedictus as the lights and candles in the church are extinguished one by one. This foreshadows the descent into the spiritual and emotional deep winter of Good Friday and the Crucifixion. The service ends in complete darkness.
‘Being in an agony, he prayed more earnestly’
“And Jesus came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.
And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation."
- Tenebrae chants by the Tallis Scholars [Youtube]