At Tenebrae, we gather as at the foot of the cross and experience haunting beauty, moving contemplation, solemn polyphony, dignified reflections, extinguishing of candles and the jarring reality of the death of God’s only Son. During Holy Week, the Church commemorates with beautiful ceremony the sacred mysteries of our redemption. Within that context, Tenebrae has a special place as a profound remembrance of the death of our Savior.
The title Tenebrae is the Latin word for shadows and references Luke 23:44: “It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour.” This liturgy is a remembrance of those shadows and the sadness and agony of those unforgettable hours of Christ’s dying on the cross. But, the Church remembers those hours mindful that the good news will echo out all the more poignantly on Easter Morning, “He is risen, Alleliua!”