On Wednesday, in the evening as darkness begins to fall, we will anticipate the passion to come, the darkness that will fall over the whole land on the afternoon of Good Friday, the agony and the grief, and finally, the entrance back into the light as the rock is rolled away.
The Tenebrae liturgy uses readings from the Psalms and from the Lamentations of Jeremiah, with meditative Antiphons interpreting them in the shadow of the cross. A candle holder in the shape of a triangle holds lights extinguished one by one, except for the last, the highest candle, which is hidden in the darkness, and restored before the congregation leaves, reminding us that the light of Christ, the light that has come into the world, can never be extinguished, even by death, even by the cross.
My parish has not, to its memory, celebrated Tenebrae before, and we do not own a Tenebrae candlestick. So I have been constructing one for us. It is quite imperfect. I am nevertheless quite proud of it, and I am glad to have invested my work, my blood (only a little), my prayers in its realization.
I hope that it will serve us well on Wednesday, and for years to come (until we buy a better wrought one, more worthy to enlighten our worship, and lead us into the dark).
The following photo gallery will give some idea of how this came into being, and how it turned out.