Quiet Reflection for Lent: Holy Week Service Tenebrae to Be Presented

by John Higgins '15 | Apr 09, 2014

On Tuesday, April 15, DeSales University will host Tenebrae, a special Holy Week service at 7:30 p.m. in Connelly Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.

Fr. Timothy McIntire, OSFS, chaplain of DeSales, will celebrate the service and Deacon George Kelly, an alumnus of the school and director of institutional research, will assist. The DeSales Schola Cantorum, an advanced chamber choir of 25 student voices, will sing at the service.

Tenebrae, a Latin word for “shadows” or “darkness,” is meant to give people a chance at quiet reflection in the days leading up to the death and later resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is meant to help transition from Lent into Easter and beyond.

According to McIntire, Tenebrae is truly is a unique celebration. “It is a commemoration of the temporary victory of darkness over light, the temporary victory of evil over goodness. We know the ending of the story. Over the course of the hour, the candles in the chapel will slowly darken. The celebration ends in darkness.”

This is the first religious celebration of its kind at DeSales University, and McIntire is hoping to turn Tenebrae into an annual event. “The mood will be pretty somber, quiet, and reflective. Psalms from the Book of Psalms and Lamentations from the Book of Lamentations are going to be sung, chanted, and spoken,” he said.

“It’s based on an evening prayer, and the Psalms and Lamentations are used to help us contemplate the temporary victory of darkness and the incredible events of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.”

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