Liturgy of Tenebrae

Rev. Msgr. W. Ronald Jameson, Cathedral Rector, presides at the Liturgy of Tenebrae, joined by members of St. Matthew's Schola Cantorum, at 7:30pm on Wednesday of Holy Week, March 27, 2024. Join us in the Cathedral for the ancient, time-honored Liturgy of Tenebræ. Garage parking will be available until 9pm.

Tenebrae: A Holy Week Tradition

We were truly heartened and humbled by the number of people who told us how much they missed the Tenebrae service in 2020 when COVID precautions eliminated the possibility of presenting the service safely. The service had become a cherished tradition over the years. We are delighted and grateful to have resumed the celebration of Tenebrae on Wednesday of Holy Week. All of the traditional elements will be present including lamentations, readings and motets with the Schola Cantorum and Cathedral lectors. We hope you can join us in-person.

The Ancient Rite of Tenebrae at St. Matthew's

The Cathedral’s Tenebrae (Latin for "darkness") is a modern adaptation and hybrid liturgy that combines elements of a venerable Holy Week adaptation of the Liturgy of the Hours dating from the 9th century. It began as a series of three vigils anticipating Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Each evening psalms were prayed, and readings proclaimed or chanted. The Lamentations of the Prophet Jeremiah were chanted on all three evenings and have become the most identifiable and memorable musical element of the current adaptation.

At St. Matthew’s Cathedral, the Schola Cantorum led the Tenebrae on the Wednesday of Holy Week beginning in the early 1980s under the direction of Dr. Gerald Muller. It has become one of the most beloved ways parishioners and the local community have chosen to mark the beginning of their Paschal Triduum observances. We look forward to welcoming you to the Cathedral to join us in this rich and powerful prayer experience.                   

—Thomas Stehle, Pastoral Associate for Liturgy and Director of Music Ministries

Wednesday of Holy Week, March 27, 2024

  • 7:00am The Cathedral opens.
  • 7:30am | Mass
  • 11:00am - 12 Noon | Confessions
  • 12:10pm | Mass 
  • 5:30pm | Mass
  • 6:15 - 7:00pm | Confessions
  • 7:30pm | Liturgy of Tenebrae, Msgr. W. Ronald Jameson, presider (Schola Cantorum) (The Cathedral closes immediately after the service.)