28 August 2010

Look What My Father-in-law Made for St. Paul's!

A hand-crafted hearse for the Good Friday Tenebrae Vespers.  Unlike the traditional hearse of 15 candles, the LSB rite calls for extinguishing only seven, hence the number of candle slots in this one. You can use it with smaller candles, or remove the wooden insets and use larger candles.  Dave's workmanship is meticulous.  And it humbles me that he spent so many hours making this beautiful hearse for use in the liturgy at one service on one day of the entire year.  But that's exactly like my father-in-law.  Only the best for the Lord.  Thanks, Dave!  


Anonymous said...

lovely... only comment... hope the candles are not too close. The one I made years ago seats the candles too close and their burning actually melts the wax of adjecnt candles and wild abandoned (in that at least appropriate) dripping... Harvey Mozolak

Myrtle said...

What exactly is this and why do you use it during that service??

William Weedon said...

the hearse holds the candles that are extinguished one after the other during the Psalms, reading, and prayers of the Tenebrae Vespers on Good Friday. Slowly we walk into the darkness with our Lord. Maybe best way to understand it is with this:


Past Elder said...

What an absolutely beautiful piece of workmanship!

There's supposed to be fifteen candles because one is put out after each of the nine psalms in Matins and each of the five psalms in Lauds, which still leaves the altar candles burning but they get put out later at the Benedictus.

But then again Tenebrae is supposed to be Matins and Lauds of the last three days of Holy Week, not a "Good Friday Service", which is a different one altogether.

That was one of the things that took the boot with Pius XII's revision of the Holy Week liturgy when I was a kid in the 50s. It ticked off a lot of people, I remember, but it warn't nothing compared to the wholesale booting of the novus ordo that was to come, but we didn't know that then.

There ain't no Tenebrae of any kind in the novus ordo; for that matter, no Matins either. All gone.

Now you might think I go for the recently dusted off "main service" for Good Friday, and I do like it, but you know what, I like a "Seven Last Words" sorta kinda Tenebrae, which has seven candles, one for each "word", better than about anything we do liturgically. The first one I went to about knocked me out, and they still do.

I hope this beautiful piece is used with a strepitus you can hear five blocks away!

Past Elder said...

Hey, it just hit me -- how ironic, right after the feast of St Augustine. Selections from his writings were the second of the three "nocturns" in the original Tenebrae.

The first nocturn being Lamentations, and the third from the Epistles, for those just dying to know.

Anonymous said...

aren't the readings from Lammentations of a unique beauty... it is like gathering tears to wash to the soul?! Harvey Mozolak

William Weedon said...

Indeed, "how lonely sits the city..."

Anonymous said...

Pastor Weedon: Could you do a post sometime on your blog about the liturgical history of the Tenebrae service? It is one of my fondest memories of the Lutheran Church. I've always wondered where it came from and why it was eliminated in the Vatican II reforms. Its so simple, yet elegant and forceful and people really seem to love it.

Past Elder said...

Vatican II didn't do away with Tenebrae, Pope Pius XII did in 1955.

In those reforms, he moved the Easter Vigil from Saturday morning back to Saturday night. Likewise, Maundy (now called Holy) Thursday and Good Friday services were moved from days to nights, so to speak.

But those three days were when Tenebrae was celebrated -- even though Matins and Lauds are early morning services originally, they had long since been moved up to the night before as a concession to laziness, or what is now called "pastoral reasons".

So when Pius XII made his changes, they were in the way and got the boot.

What Vatican II did was abolish Matins for what is now an Office of Readings, which, on the Vatican II model of you can do this, that, or the other, a model we regrettably have appropriated, can be read at morning or any other time. Lauds has become "Morning Prayer", and the novus ordo still recommends the use of the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer, but on just Good Friday and Holy Saturday, and the old nine psalm and five psalm thing and the nocturns are gone, as well as associated candles and extinguishing thereof.

So even "traditional" Roman Catholics ain't got no Tenebrae, because they must use the 1962 version of the Tridentine Rite, by which time the original Tenebrae was gone.

Better to be Lutheran, find yourself a Seven Last Words style Tenebrae, and go.

Past Elder said...

PS -- both the 1962 Tridentine Rite and the 1970 novus ordo are largely the work of the great Hannibal Lector of the Liturgy, Anibale Cardinal Bloody Bugnini, along with some of my profs and other crazed revisionists.

So the utter joke of "traditional" versus "conciliar" Catholic liturgy is that both, as they are known now, are conciliar, the one being Early Bugman and the other Late Bugman.