Thursday, 28 March 2013

Out of the darkness: Tenebrae in Adelaide

Holy Week is one of those times when those of us so inclined who live (or are visiting) the right places can indulge in something of a liturgical binge or endure a liturgical marathon depending on your perspective or state of mind at the time.

Beauty converts

In the Novus Ordo the tendency has long been to 'simplify' the liturgy out of existence.  Apart from Easter Sunday itself, the Masses and other liturgical ceremonies of the period are not, bizarrely, days of obligation.

Yet these days offer simple yet beautiful ceremonies that can put us into a deeply meditative frame of mind if we focus not so much on the individual words, important those these are, and more on mindfulness of God.

And the sheer beauty of the liturgy over these few days is a great counter to the spiritual poverty of our times, offering riches to the poor.

On Sunday, I attended the sung Palm Sunday EF Mass in Canberra, which features one of the most splendid of the tracts of the Lenten season, as well, of course, as the singing of the Passion.Today is the start of the Triduum.  The congregation was small, but committed.

And last night I was able to get (albeit somewhat belatedly due a wrong turn in a strange city in the dark!) to the wonderful ceremony of Tenebrae.  Tenebrae in Adelaide was a lovely mix of chant and polyphony performed in the darkness, and attracted a very good crowd indeed.  It was boosted, I gather by a mention on ABC FM in the morning, but also attracted some other newcomers to the Latin Mass community.

The Adelaide community is doing Tenebrae for Holy Saturday on Friday night, with the highlight planned to be the Allegri Miserere, so well worth an attempt to get there if you live or are visiting here.

The main ceremonies of the Triduum, of course start this morning with the Chrism mass (if you live in one of the two places in Australia it is actually being done on the day!) and the Mass of the last Supper.  Optional or not, do make the most of this most holy part of the Church's calendar.  And try and bring some friends and family along with you...


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