Thursday, 20 March 2008

Tenebrae

A couple of posts ago I was bewailing the fact that I didn't feel as if I was in Holy Week, as I hadn't had the opportunity to "prepare" myself for the spiritual onslaught.

Well, a friend had told me that Tenebrae was being celebrated at Corpus Christi church, Maiden Lane, London, and he suggested that I make the effort to attend. I have to confess that I wasn't really in the mood by the end of my working day. I was feeling washed out and headachy. However, after getting home, I thought about what Our Lord had suffered for us, and considered what sort of a sorry state I was in for the start of the Triduum...

...and so I got back in the car and drove in to central London. I arrived at Covent Garden with about five minutes to go before the service was due to start, and began praying to St. Joseph to find me a parking space. I dreaded getting lost in the one-way maze of backstreets, but suddenly turned a corner and found myself right next to Maiden Lane, and lo and behold, there was a parking space just in front of me. The parking restriction had finished half an hour previously, so I grabbed my mantilla and shot in to the church with a minute to spare!

And what a wonderful service it was. The church is quite small and intimate, but the acoustics are really good... the psalms and readings were chanted from the front, but some of the antiphons and responses were sung from a gallery at the back of the church: the music was spine-tinglingly good. I tried to record it on my phone, but without success.

It was certainly an experience I'd want to repeat: the mournful tones of the psalms, the role of Judas Iscariot in planning his betrayal, and the sense of impending doom really bring home the meaning of what is about to happen over the next few days...

I will try to put up a post about the morning's Chrism Mass tomorrow, but after that I shall be on private "retreat" for the Triduum.

5 comments:

gemoftheocean said...

How cool! And PARKING too....I didn't know St. Joseph did "parking." I usually ask Tony for things like that.

For recordings I havre been very happy with the small Olympus voice recorder. For "high quality" recordings you caxn do 9 hours worth. It will plug right into your USB port and you can put them right on your hard drive.

Karen

Fr Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R. said...

Two things.

First, thank you for thanking priests and supporting them with the holy cards and presence at the Chrism Mass. This is truly grace at work and a most Catholic response to the usual protests. This is needed at Chrism Masses and Ordinations everywhere. Thank you.

Second, I thought I was the only one who prayed to St. Joseph for parking spots. The few people I have mentioned this too and have tried him have found, like me, that he ALWAYS comes through. Perhaps it was because he had to find a place for the donkey to rest. I'm sure that wasn't an easy thing!

Have a blessed Pasch of the Lord!

Fr. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

Mac McLernon said...

Fr. Scott - I realised I was on the right track when, the first year I gave out cards, a priest approached me afterwards practically in tears, saying that no-one had ever thanked him for being a priest before.

As far as I'm concerned, that one encounter makes the whole thing worthwhile. I've said it before: no priests = no sacraments = no Church. So thank you for your ministry, it is precious for all of us!


Karen - I always pray to St. Joseph when parking. Fr. Scott hit the nail on the head: whenever I'm afraid that there will be "no room," I figure he'll help out. And he always does!

Marita said...

I was at that Tenebrae service - did you notice how quiet it was afterwards, awesome!

Mac McLernon said...

Wow Marita... small world!

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