Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Psalms of Holy Week Tenebrae: Masterpost

The Divine Office during the Sacred Triduum, which is identical in the (modern) Benedictine and Roman Rites, is quite differently structured to that of the rest of the year.  And the high point of those three days is surely the Office of Tenebrae, Matins and Lauds, sung in the darkness.

The psalms of Tenebrae very much trace the Church's take on the events of the Triduum, and so make a great source of Lenten meditation.  And of course, if you are going to in or attend this office, useful to get a flavour of the psalms involved by way of preparation.

The Office of Tenebrae is structured into three Nocturns of three psalms each (Matins), followed by (in the post-1911 version of the hour) five psalms (one of which is a canticle, or psalm from outside the book of psalms) for Lauds.  In addition each of the Nocturns has three readings and a responsory (not covered here), and the Benedictus is sung with an antiphon at Lauds.  The Office ends with the antiphon Christus factus est pro nobis, with an additional phrase being added each night.

This series of posts on that Office was originally presented for Lent 2013.  The first post was an Introduction to the series.  An asterix indicates a psalm that is repeated on one or more occasions (only one post per psalm has been provided on these).

Maundy Thursday 


Psalm 68
Psalm 69
Psalm 70

Psalm 71
Psalm 72
Psalm 73

Psalm 74
Psalm 75*
Psalm 76


Psalm 50*
Psalm 89
Psalm 35
Canticle: Exodus 15
Psalm 146

Good Friday

Psalm 2
Psalm 21
Psalm 26*

Psalm 37
Psalm 39
Psalm 53*

Psalm 58
Psalm 87
Psalm 93

Psalm 50*
Psalm 142
Psalm 84
Canticle of Habaccuc
Psalm 147

Holy Saturday

Psalm 4
Psalm 14
Psalm 15

Psalm 23
Psalm 26*
Psalm 29

Psalm 53*
Psalm 75*
Psalm 87*

Psalm 50*
Psalm 91
Psalm 63
Canticle: Isaiah 38
Psalm 150

In the older version of Tenebrae, now restored in some places, the psalms of Lauds were as follows:

Psalm 50
Thurs: Ps 89; Fri: Ps 142; Sat: Ps 42
Psalm 62
Psalm 66
OT canticle -  Thurs: Ex 15; Fri: Hab 3; Sat: Is 38
Ps 148-150

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