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The Office of Tenebrae:


Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 at 8:30 p.m.

This service anticipates the monastic offices for the last three days of Holy Week, and comprises the chanting of psalms and the singing of the Lamentations of Jeremiah. The word "Tenebrae" is the Latin word for darkness and refers to the gradual extinguishing of candles and lights as the service proceeds, until only one candle remains. Its light, too, is hidden, and then a loud noise is made, symbolizing the death of Christ, his descent to the dead, and the earthquake at the time of the resurrection. Upon the return of the one candle, everyone leaves in silence.

The Choir of St. Martin’s will be singing the setting of the Lamentations of Jeremiah by English Renaissance composer, Thomas Tallis, and Anton Bruckner's motet Christus Factus Est. Tallis' Lamentations of Jeremiah is one of the greatest pieces of sacred music in the Western canon, and Bruckner's Christus Factus Est is equally beautiful.