TENEBRAE: Prayer in Shadows

Tuesday, April 11, 7 pm
FREE (no collection taken or donations asked)
All welcome

The Latin word for “shadows” or “darkness,” tenebrae is the name given to the Church’s celebration of the Hours of Matins and Lauds for Holy Week. It was much more common before Vatican II, but today it’s often used as a “choral preparation” or meditation on the themes of the Passion. A great number of composers have written some beautiful meditative pieces for this rite.

Psalms and hymns of lament are read and sung, and we are invited to reflect on the poetry and great mystery of Christ’s death for us. Throughout the hour, each and every candle and light in the church is extinguished–all except one, to represent Christ in the great darkness of the silent church. A loud noise (called the strepitum) is heard: the “shudder of creation” at the death of Jesus. All depart in silence.

Join us and the Choir of St. Francis de Sales as we enact this solemn and ancient choral meditation with the music of Palestrina, Garau, Byrd, and others in preparation for the great darkness of Good Friday–and look with great hope and joy to the Light of Easter morning. 



Pope Francis has asked for churches worldwide to offer more opportunity for Eucharistic devotion and confession on the weekend of Laetare Sunday (24-26 March), and St. Francis is doing its part.

Friday, March 24

  • 5:30 pm: Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament
  • 7 pm: Stations of the Cross and Solemn Benediction
  • 7-11 pm: Adoration continues in the Upper Church until 11 pm.

Saturday, March 25

  • 9 am: Mass of the Day
  • 9:30 am: Perpetual Novena to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
  • 10 am: Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament
  • The Upper Church is open all day for Adoration until just before the Vigil Mass.

Books, devotionals, bottled water, and bathroom facilities will be available.

ALL are welcome for as long or as little as you like, but we need “hour leaders” to be present for a specified hour commitment to ensure our Lord is never alone–and safe.

Interested? E-mail sacristan@saintfrancisdesales.net.