Tenebrae – Good Friday Evening

Hosted by: St Michael's Church and Choir

On Good Friday evening at 8pm the ancient service of Tenebrae is sung in Latin and English by the Choir from the West Gallery to plainsong and to polyphonic music by Orlando de Lassus (1532-94) and Giovanni da Palestrina (1525-94).

Please copy and distribute the Poster below if you can; this year we end Tenebrae by singing the Miserere to music by Palestrina.

Since part of the text is an acrostic poem from the Lamentations of Jeremiah, each verse is preceded by singing a letter from the Hebrew alphabet, Aleph, Beth, Gimel, etc. Each piece of 4-part harmony by Lassus like a musical illuminated manuscript for the plainsong verse that follows.

During the Readings and Psalms, the lights in the nave and on the Tenebrae Candelabrum are gradually extinguished, with the service ending in darkness and silence to symbolise Jesus’ descent to the dead.

For many years, St Michael’s was perhaps the only church in the Diocese to perform Tenebrae liturgically and fully during Holy Week; in recent years, a number of other churches have re-adopted this practice.  Please come and experience this most beautiful and moving Office with us.

Tenebrae Poster


St Michael and All Angels’ Church, Dinham Road, Mount Dinham, Exeter, EX4 4EB