Tuesday, March 25, 2014

When He Came into This World...


....He said, "You have prepared a body for me; behold I come to do your will, O God." (antiphon 2, Office of Readings)

Invisible in his nature, he became visible in ours. Beyond our grasp, he chose to come within our grasp. Existing before time, he began to exist at a moment in time...(Pope Leo the Great, Office of Readings)

He is before all else that is. In him everything continues in being. (canticle, Vespers)

...we proclaim to you the eternal life that was present to the Father and became visible to us. (1 John: 2, Vespers)

I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done unto me according to  your word. (antiphon 3, Vespers)

Is any comment--other than 'Wow!'--worth making on this marvel, this mystery and  our immense good fortune that it happened?


  1. Hi, I want to ask what your thoughts are/knowledge is of tenebrae and I didn't know where to post. In my understanding tenebrae is the combination of three of the Hours from Good Friday evening to Holy Saturday (maybe Vespers, Compline and Matins?). This was before Vatican II and now there isn't really a true tenebrae-- why not? Can you shed some light on this for me?

    1. I'm not on expert on the older form of the Divine Office. But I do know that the Vatican II revision emphasized saying the hours at their proper time of day. I've been to tenebrae services at our parish. It was done in the morning, and, as Mike says below, it did consist of Matins and Lauds (morning prayer) on Good Friday and Holy Saturday. (maybe on Holy Thursday as well, but I can't remember, and our new pastor no long follows this custom.) I also recall that candles were extinguished after each psalm and reading, and that at a certain point we had to raise and drop our kneelers on the floor, which was to symbolizes the thunder when Jesus died. It's all a bit fuzzy in my memory right now, since this was some years ago. I think Father must have made a program for us to follow since our church only has a stockpile of single volume breviaries, hence we would not have had the Office of Readings (matins). So yes, there is a modern tenebrae, it's just not identical to the old one, and you don't see it done at many parishes these days.

    2. whoops! I meant Scott, not MIke.

  2. I think it's Matins and Lauds, anticipated the evening before. So Wednesday evening's Tenebrae is Matins and Lauds of Holy/Maundy Thursday, etc. - the times for things used to be a bit topsy-turvy in the Triduum.