Tenebrae Definition

tĕnə-brā, -brē
A Holy Week night service (Wednesday through Friday), formerly widely observed in the Western Church, consisting of group recitation of Matins and Lauds of the following day in commemoration of Christ's death and burial.
Webster's New World

A Christian religious service celebrated by the Western Church on the evening before or early morning of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, involving the gradual extinguishing of candles while a series of readings and psalms are chanted or recited.


Origin of Tenebrae

  • Medieval Latin from Latin tenebrae darkness

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Latin tenebrae shadows, darkness.

    From Wiktionary

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