Tenebrae Wooden Candle Stands

SKU: chur294

Tenebrae Wooden Candle Stands

Stunning solid wood Tenebrae

49cm x 27cm x 50cm tall

Holds up to 5cm in diameter candles - 7 candles

Please note that this candle stand is made on order.  Please allow us a 2 to 4 week preparation time.


The three major liturgies of the Sacred Triduum had been performed during the morning hours. But after this reform, the ceremonies of Maundy Thursday were moved to evening (usually around 6pm), Good Friday’s liturgy was traditionally moved to the sacred hour of Our Lord’s death, and the Easter Vigil was moved from Holy Saturday morning to the nighttime, immediately preceding the Mass at Midnight. This allowed for the Office of Tenebrae to be performed in the early morning of the day, instead of the night before.

The ceremony of Tenebrae is similar during each of the three days. During the first (Matins) part, there are three nocturnes, each with three Psalms, a versicle and response, the Pater Noster, and readings. During the second (Lauds) section, one will hear five Psalms, a versicle and response, and the Benedictus Canticle, which is the song of thanksgiving given by Zachary upon the occasion of the circumcision of his son, John the Baptist. Following this, another Pater, and a reflection on the death of Our Lord, Respice quaesumu

The only light traditionally came from the Tenebrae hearse, or large candle holder. This was placed in the choir, with fifteen lit candles. Some locations use beige candles for all except the top candle, which symbolizes Our Lord Jesus Christ. After each of the Psalms – nine for Matins and five for Lauds – the bottom-most candle is extinguished, alternating sides.

Not only does this rubric slowly bring the church closer to complete darkness, and the time in the Office when the death of Our Lord is commemorated, but it provides a stark visual that Our Lord is slowly but surely left alone in the darkness of the world, fraught with sin.

At the end of the final lesson, the final candle is removed by a server or cleric, and hidden behind a curtain or the altar, signifying the burial of Our Lord in the tomb. A noise is made, symbolizing the earthquake at the Crucifixion. In some locations, the celebrant simply slams his book shut, and in others the clerics and congregation knock on their pews for a time. The candle is finally extinguished, and replaced on the hearse.

The Office comes to an abrupt end, without the usual blessing. The clergy and the faithful leave the Church in silence, without hymn.

While the majority of the ceremonies of the Catholic Church are joyous and celebratory, Tenebrae stands in stark contrast. Even the ceremonies of Holy Thursday and Good Friday contain some consolation… On Holy Thursday, the altar of repose is decorated, and we can keep company with Our Lord. On Good Friday, the crucifixes are finally unveiled, and we can kiss the feet of Our Lord, and receive Him in the Eucharist. But Tenebrae is sorrowful, from beginning to end, complete with darkness, earthquake, and Our Lord symbolically hidden from our view