Thursday, 9 April 2015

March 27th - Tenebrae for Good Friday

At the usual time Compline is recited on a monotone, as the Little Hours were this morning. The altar candles are not lit. Again its form is absolute simplicity beginning with the Confiteorand the usual psalms (4, 30 vv. 1-6, 90 & 133, Nunc dimittis and then Christus factus est, Miserere and Respice as at the other Hours. At Compline this evening only Christus factus est pro nobis obediens usque ad mortem is said as it is still part of the Office of Mandy Thursday.

Tenebrae for Good Friday follows Compline, or after a short gap. In practice Compline can be chanted in the time it takes to light the altar candles and candles on the Tenebrae hearse. The service of Tenebrae is structurally the same as that sung for Mandy Thursday and the differences will be noted below.

The choir altar is as it was after the stripping this morning with six candlesticks containing candles of unbleached wax with the altar Cross veiled now in black. At Mattins the first antiphon is Astiterunt reges. The psalms are strictly proper: in the first nocturn Pss. 2, 21 & 26. The lessons are again from the Lamentation of Jeremy the Prophet. The lessons are longer than those found in the later editions. The first lesson has the addition of Lamech (Lamed). The second lesson has the addition of Phe, Ain and Sade (vv. 16-18). The third lesson has the addition of three verses of Daleth, vv 10-12 of the third chapter. In the second nocturn Pss. 37, 39 & 53 are sung. The lessons are, as yesterday evening from St. Augustine. These are significantly longer than those found in the later editions with the fourth lesson comprising of the text found in both the fourth and fifth lesson in the later editions. The text found in the sixth lesson is entirely absent from the later books. In the third nocturn Pss. 58, 87 & 93 are sung. The lessons, from St. Paul to the Hebrews, are slightly longer than those found in the post-Clementine books.

Lauds immediately follow Mattins beginning with the antiphon Proprio Filio suo etc. Psalms 50, 142, 62-66, Domine audivi auditionem & 148-149-150. The antiphon on the Benedictus is Posuerunt super caput ejus etc, sung to the same tone as last night and doubled. Exactly the same ceremonies take place as last night. When the Christus factus est is sung Mortem autem crucis is now added.

After Tenebrae in Cathedral and larger churches the Ceremonial Washing of the Altars takes place. The bare mensae are washed with a mixture of water and wine and the surface scoured with brushes and dried with towels whilst Diviserunt and psalm 21 is monotoned. After this service Christus factus est ... Mortem autem crucis is added.

A setting of the Miserere by Victoria.

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