Lenten Tenebrae Service, 3/31

by William Edwards '17 | Mar 19, 2015


DeSales University will hold a traditional Tenebrae service Tuesday March 31 at Connelly Chapel at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The service is designed as a segue from Lent into the Paschal Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, and serves to help in spiritual preparation for Easter.

“This is just one hour that we’re going to provide to people who have been especially busy, to just come in and prepare for Easter,” University Chaplain Rev. Tim McIntire, OSFS said. “It’s music, it’s reading, it’s some quiet time. I would say it’s an incredibly prayerful experience.”

The University’s Schola Cantorum will provide music for the service, which incorporates the extinguishing of candles and reverent silence to embody the sorrow of Good Friday.

“As the hour goes on the lights are dimmed and eventually fairly dark just to represent or symbolize the darkness before the light,” McIntire said. “That even if we are experiencing difficult times, even if things seem hopeless, that, as we come to find out on Easter Sunday, light wins out.”

Tenebrae, which translates to “shadows” in Latin, began in medieval monasteries, and regained popularity in the 1900’s, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. This is the second year the University will host the event. 

“It’s a really nice complement to a penance service,” McIntire said. “It’s a nice opportunity to do some reflection on your own life, to do some reflection on God’s sacrifice for us.”

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